Spring is coming: Up and coming festivals in Korea

Winter has come! And spring is coming! Farmers are not the only ones preparing for the change of seasons, the snow is melting and the season of abundant festivals in Korea will be starting! Well, there are festivals year-round in Korea, but as the weather becomes warmer that is enough to inspire motivation to go explore new and unfamiliar areas of this naturally beautiful country that we live in. It is my first year living in Korea, but I have been to a couple of festivals since moving here in August and I plan to attend more, so I thought that I would compile a list of the festivals that I feel are noteworthy. Hopefully you find it useful and make the time to explore Korea!

March 6-8, 2015: Jeju Fire Festival

If you are going to be on Jeju Island, or planning a trip there, this festival may spark some motivation to head south to the island known for rocks, women, and wind. The fire festival brings people together to wish for an abundant harvest and healthy year. A wooden structure is lit on fire on top of a hill (think Burning Man) and a celebration ensues afterwards.

jeju fire festival

March 20-23, 2015: Jindo Miracle Sea Festival

The Jindo Miracle Sea Festival takes place once a year! The festival celebrates a natural phenomenon event where the sea mysteriously parts and visitors can walk right through the sea. This takes place in Jindo. Jindo is about four hours away from Seoul. So go check it out and channel Moses.

You can read more about the festival here:

http://www.koreadmc.co.kr/board_xBoG46/5377

Jindo

March 22, 2015: Holi Hai or the Festival of Colours

Start off the beginning of spring by celebrating it at the Holi Hai Festival in Busan on Sunday, March 22 at Haeundae Beach. Come join this inspiring festival that honors friendship, happiness, love, equality and diversity by colouring your friends with colourful dust!

Holi Hai claims to be the happiest festival in Korea; why don’t you join and experience this for yourself?

holi hai festival

April 1-10, 2015: Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Head to Jinhae and experience the beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom! This is the largest cherry blossom festival in Korea and is sure to offer many picturesque photography opportunities. In addition to the cherry blossoms there is also a simultaneous Military Parade Festival that happens during the same time in Jinhae.

cherry blossom

June 20-22, 2015: Gwangalli Eobang Festival

This event is held in Busan at Gwangalli Beach! Busan is a beautiful coastal town, any excuse to visit I am in, but also this festival celebrates the traditional Korean folk life. During the festival you can try your hand at bare-hand fishing and there is also free water-sports! By this time it will also be warm; I am sure that this would be a fun beach filled weekend.

Gwanagalli Eobang Festival

July 17-26, 2015: Boryeong Mud Festival

This has been on my list of festivals to attend since I heard about it from a friend. It takes place on Daecheon Beach about two hours south of Seoul. Any reason to go roll around in the mud sounds blissful to me, so do yourself a favour and get dirty! It would probably be a good idea to reserve your accommodations, as it will likely be popular for a lot of people to be traveling to Daecheon Beach for the festival.

You can read more about the festival here:

http://www.mudfestival.or.kr/

Boryeong-Mud-Festival

July 31– August 3, 2015: Pohang International Fireworks Festival

I am speaking from previous experience when I say that Korea knows how to host a fireworks show and while you may have to battle huge crowds, I am sure that the show will be worth it. Just take a look at this picture from the Busan Fireworks Festival from October 24-25, 2014.

fireworks stunners (2)

Busan Fireworks Festival: October 24-25, 2014

Busan Fireworks Festival Huaendae Beach

Busan Fireworks Festival: October 24-25, 2014
Haeundae Beach – As you can see the beaches get crowded, prepare to arrive early to mark your territory!

Pohang International Fireworks Festival

July 25- August 10, 2015: Geochang International Festival of Theatre

I know that you may be thinking that going to watch a theatrical show in Korean may not be your “thing”, but they have international acts so you can plan to watch an English performance! The other plus about this festival is that it is an open-air venue that is hosted in the scenic Susengdae, the performances are outside, and there is even one stage that looks down on the river, so you can watch the show while sitting in the slow-moving river. You could make a weekend of it and go camping as well, sounds like a fun time to me!

geochang festival of theater

Well there you have it, a list of the future festivals that will be held around South Korea in the near future. I hope that you take the time to go and travel to an unfamiliar area of South Korea and make new cultural and social memories!  Happy Festivus!

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