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Origin of Taebaek

Home About Taebaek Origin and History Origin of Taebaek
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The Taebaek in Taebaek-si originates from Taebaeksan Mountain, and refers to something that is very bright.

Taebaeksan Mountain is a ‘very bright mountain’, and is called ‘Hanbakdal’ or ‘Hanbaedal’, and is connected to the myth of Dangun.

In the beginning, Hwanungcheonwang, the son of God (Hwanin) in the Heavens, descended to the Sindansu (divine birch tree) of Taebaeksan Mountain and opened up the Sinsi (City of God). By doing so, he was able to secure the home of the Korean people. As a result, the Korean people saw the mountain that God’s son had descended from as a pathway to the Heavens, and came to think of it as a ladder leading to the sky. Thus, a custom of ritual for heaven at the mountain that Hwanungcheonwang descended has begun. That mysterious and sacred Sinsan (Mountain of God) was called Taebaeksan Mountain and worshipped as a sacred ground.

Then, Taebaeksan Mountain [Baekdusan Mountain] lost its own function due to the rise and fall as well as division of our people and another Taebaeksan Mountain in a different location was derived from the original one. Although the people had split, the same customs remained. So the people who moved to the south (Samhan) found a mountain that had similar geographic features as Taebaeksan Mountain (Baekdusan Mountain) of the north and named it as Taebaeksan Mountain. They built Cheonjedan Altar on the top and performed rituals to the heaven as the old custom; and that is Taebaeksan Mountain located in Taebaek of now. What symbolizes sky is sun and sun means bright light; therefore our people were called bright people and the mountain for rituals was called a bright mountain. Our people who had a custom of performing rituals at the bright mountain was called Baedalgyeore, and Taebaeksan Mountain means the brightest mountain of many bright mountains.

Jangseong-eup and Hwangji-eup, which were formed at the foot of this Taebaeksan Mountain, were combined and promoted as a city on July 1, 1981 due to the population increase and they were called Taebaek because they are located under Taebaeksan Mountain. Originally, before they became Taebaek, the representatives of Hwangji-eup and Jangseong-eup formed the Taebaek-gun Install Promotion Committee to promote those two eups to gun, but they ended up as a city.