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Why Snowpiercer Started with a Digital Pig Head

Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head

Snowpiercer, it seems, is fantastic. The movie debuted in South Korea last summer and is finally opening in North America later this week. Before filming started, the cast and crew held a traditional ritual with pig's head—but with a slight twist. A digital twist.

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Note: This article contains imagery some readers might find objectionable.

In South Korea, the gosa ceremony is held with a severed swine head and is supposed to ward off misfortune and bring good luck. Wads of money are stuffed in the pig's mouth, and after the ceremony is over, people eat the pig's head, have red-bean rice cake, and drink alcohol.

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Korea JoongAng Daily reports that the ceremony used to be performed when people moved into a new house or purchased a new car, but is practiced less in such instances in recent years. However, below, you can see Korean police officers holding a gosa ceremony because accident fatalities did not go down. They are praying for zero accidents.

Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head

[Photo: OhMyNews, Thanks Sang!]

It appears companies still hold gosa ceremonies. Below, you can see the ceremony being performed at the opening of a new corporate office for Korean game developer Playnery:

Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head
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Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head

[Photos: Facebook]

Likewise, when Wargaming opened its new office in South Korea in 2012, there was a gosa ceremony for goodwill and good luck.

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There are various reasons given why a pig's head is used, but one of them is, according to Korea JoongAng Daily, that the pigs represent fertility and money in Korea.

As tipster Sang points out, the ceremony is also often held when movies or TV dramas begin a shoot to pray for success as safety. When filming for Snowpiercer, the gosa ritual was performed.

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Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head

However, a digital pig's head was used instead of a real one, since some of the actors might have found it unpleasant. They're not alone. In recent years, JoongAng Daily reports that some Koreans have found using a real, decapitated pig's head as rather disagreeable, substituting it with a sugary cake instead.

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Illustration for article titled Why emSnowpiercer/em Started with a Digital Pig Head

'설국열차' 고사 현장 보니…돼지머리 대신 태블릿PC '왜?' [TV Daily Thanks, Sang!]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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DISCUSSION

I don't really see the problem in using a real pigs head. Its not as if the pig would have lived otherwise, and if its dead, you're better off using up every part of the animal rather then throwing parts away.

edit: i do get it that people might be freaked out about it if they don't know about it. So i can understand why in this case, with American actors there as well and stuff, they'd go with a digital head.