Dano is a major Korean holiday (considered by Koreans third in importance after Chuseok
or Lunar New Year). It's a late spring holiday akin to Memorial day
(insofar as it's the semi official kick off to summer). Dano is held on the 5th day of the 5th month on the lunar calendar
which means it tends to be held in June. The 5-5 is important as 5 is considered a lucky number in Korea and that date is considered auspicious.
Dano was a time when Koreans traditionally started to pray to the gods to remind them of the coming fall harvest
and get them to do their divine prep work
Because the 5-5 date was consider super lucky, many men and women figured it was the best day to get lucky. Dano took on some Valentines Day
like overtones. Women ritually wash their hair that day to symbolize their expectations for booty. They rinse their hair in water that has been boiled with iris
petals. After washing their hair, women get on swings and, well, swing. The traditional belief is a woman who can swing
high is irresistible (or at least hard not to notice) by some passing prince
on a horse.
Men engaged in contests of strength and prowess to convince their lady fair that being able to beat up another man would mean he'd be a good father. On Dano, men engage in Korean wrestling, tug-of-war
, and, before it was banned, Seok Jeon
Dano's origins are cloudy, although the holiday has been celebrated in some form for over 1,000 years. A story is told Dano began to honor a loyal vassal
who killed himself rather than betray his king.