Must-See Festivals in South Korea

Korean Traditional Dance

If I’ve learned anything about South Korea is that they don’t do anything halfway. You don’t have to leave the peninsula to enjoy some of the best. From the biggest mall to the largest fireworks festival to the largest indoor amusement park– there’s always a celebration in South Korea. Koreans know how to have a good time. Here are a few must-see festivals in South Korea.

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Festivals in South Korea

 

And the festivals in South Korea are no exception. It has tons of natural beauty, a myriad of festivals, religious celebrations. And there is always an accompanying must-see festival in South Korea.

 

Boryeong Mud Festival

 

This year’s festival began on Friday, July 15, and runs through Sunday, July 24. The city of Boryeong has 136 km (roughly 84 miles) coastline of premium sea mud. Many locals believe has the same properties as the Dead Sea in Israel. Deacheon Beach is everything you imagine a beach town to be. Except once a year, thousands flock to it to play in the mud.

 

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Jindo Miracle Sea Parting Festival 

 

There are a ton of festivals in South Korea. One of my favorites Jindo Sea Parting Festival. It will take place from April 26th through April 29th. Are you ready to walk on water? I’m not joking, the Jindo Sea-Parting Festival is part of an annual tidal phenomenon that takes place off the southern coast of South Korea. Participants get a chance to experience a once in a lifetime Moses-like event. You’ll have 90 minutes to make the journey there and back before you’ll be swept away by the returning tide.

 

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Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival
in Jinhae

 

I decided to spend my birthday in Jinhae (or Chinhae) a week ahead of the annual cherry blossom festival. I definitely recommend going down there before OR after the festival that began April 1 last year and ran through the 10th. Even though the blooms weren’t completely mature yet, it’s absolutely beautiful and there are already lots of people– but not the overwhelming crowds during the festival. The event also features street performers, food vendors, and nighttime fireworks.

Jinhae-gu is an area in the city of Changwon, South Korea. Jinhae’s Gunhangje (cherry blossom) Festival celebrates the city’s abundant cherry blossoms. For about two weeks from the end of March to the second week of April, the trees come into full bloom throughout the city and the surrounding mountains.

 

Instagram Fabulous

 

The best spot within the city to see the blossoms is by the Gyeonghwa Station, where there is a mile-long stretch of trees, saturating the air with the fragrant, yet short-lived blooms. There are also parades, food stalls, and cultural celebrations. Jinhae Bay also has 26 small islands to explore.

Multiple Locations in the Jinhae District and around the Jinhae Jungwon Rotary 9 Tongsin-dong Changwon, South Korea.

 

Daegu Lantern Festival

 

I’m not left speechless much, but the 2016 Daegu Dalgubeol Lantern Festival took my breath away and made me feel like a kid. The festival takes place in April in Daegu’s Durya Park and might be one of the prettiest things I’ve seen since moving to South Korea. Although based in Buddhism, the Lantern Festival is one of the religious celebrations anyone can enjoy. Click on the link to see what I mean. Click here.

 

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Busan Fireworks Festival

 

Fireworks are always fun but one that lasts almost an hour is synchronized to music and includes lasers lights over the longest suspension bridge in South Korea that also changes colors with more than a million people is a spectacle.

The Busan Fireworks Festival takes place every October on Gwangalli Beach in Busan. The festival has cultural events and entertainment, high-tech laser light shows, and culminates with one of them, if not the best, fireworks display I’ve ever seen. It is one of the area’s most popular festivals, drawing crowds of more than 1 million visitors every year. Though most people flock to the beach for a closer view of the festivities, nearby Hwangnyeongsan Mountain also offers a great view of the fireworks. This year the festival was on October 22nd. Click here for the video I shot.

 

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Busan Sand Castle Festival 

 

We’ve gone to the Busan’s Haeundae Beach Sand Festival two years in a row because we both love the artistry that’s involved in these contests. The detail and precision that goes into these sculptures are amazing. The competitors come from all around the world for the weekend-long festivities. And Busan is our home away from home just a little over an hour from home on the KTX train. The festival takes place one weekend in late May.

 

Perseus-slays-Medusa Must-See Festivals in South Korea

Life as an ex-pat in South Korea this past year has been a mixed bag of experiences I won’t soon forget.

 

 

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