Photographer's Note

The Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, South-Korea has held a guard-changing ceremony since 1996 after thorough historical research by leading historians. The ceremony, which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate of Deoksugung Palace, is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture. The royal gate is opened and closed at pre-determined times, and the gatekeepers in charge of guard duty and patrols hold a shift ceremony three times a day.

As the ceremony begins, the changing of the guards commences replete with traditional musical instruments. They exchange a password for verification. An eight-minute guard ceremony ensues, followed by a seven-minute change ceremony, and finally a patrol that completes the ceremony. The procedure takes a dramatic turn when 18 guards in six official positions beat a drum and bellow some orders.

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Additional Photos by Paul Bulteel (pauloog) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 77 N: 1882] (11751)
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