Yulin Festival Ends and Bok Nal Days Start
Now that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is over, many people will either go about their daily lives until next year or focus their attention on South Korea’s Bok Nal Days.
Bok Nal Days are the three hottest days of the lunar calendar year and are as follows: July 12 (Cho Bok), July 22 (Joong Bok), August 11(Mal Bok). It is during this time period when consumption of bosingtang (dog meat stew) is at its highest. Sadly, many South Koreans against the dog meat trade will opt for samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) instead of eating a truly humane soup that doesn't involve any animal suffering. Bosingtang and samgyetang both have the unsubstantiated claims of “health” benefits of recharging and cooling the body during the hot summer days. Ironically, the Chinese believe dog meat warms the body during winter.
Here is an excerpt from an in-depth article our work was featured in for K-9 Magazine explaining Bok Nal.
Bok Nal or Bok Days refer to the three hottest days in the lunar calendar. Why consume dogs during Bok Nal? The reason stems from a metaphysical theory of Yin-Yang and the elements. Yin-Yang is a belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposite but complementary. According to the 400-year-old Korean encyclopedia, Jibongyuseol, Bok denotes the period where the feminine force Yin is strong and tries to rise but is forced to remain crouched by the masculine Yang. During Bok Days when the Yin is strong, an opposite force, Yang, must complement it. Bok ‘s element is metal, and its opposite element is fire - dogs’ element. Dog meat traders have capitalized on this, and popularized a national festival of horror. During Bok Days, Koreans are encouraged to eat dog meat stew, known as bosingtang, to recharge the Yang and counter the Yin, and cool the body during the hot summer days. Another belief is that heat depletes men’s sexual potency, so bosingtang is eaten to help with men’s sexual virility. No scientific evidence has been found to substantiate either of these beliefs.
We applaud all of the hard working activist groups for coming together to show their solidarity in support of banning the dog and cat meat industries and we will continue to support them by putting pressure on the government to end this unnecessary slaughter of innocent beings.