Jinju Lantern Festival

Coming from a country where every festival is celebrated like larger than life… Yeah I’m talking about India… I like the festival seasons and its celebration parade. So when came to Korea the one thing I like the most was celebrating festivals with family.

Korea as a cultural country has many festivals for every season.  Firework festival, lantern festival, mask festival, mud festival, green tea festival and so the list go on…… When my husband told me about the Lantern festival, I just jumped at the idea and decided to go and find out more.

Jinju is a small(ish) town 2 hours’ drive from Busan. Jinju Namgang Festival origins from the lantern lighting custom which was used during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War – Japanese invasion, 1592 as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops for wading the Namgang River.

The main highlights of this festival is a bunch of lights floating gracefully in the Han River and reflecting off the water.  There is an exhibit of floats with lots of world countries and famous landmarks. This exhibit includes Big Ben of London, The statue of Liberty, Indian God, the Spinx of Egypt and Napoleon from France. There was also a stunning exhibit of lanterns of Disney characters- Beauty and the Beast, Dalmatians 101 , Mickey and Minnie and many more. Yet, the most beautiful part of the festival was the lanterns made by people from all around the world. The Citizens of Jinju contributes the most but there were some lanterns from Egypt and Norway.  There were some very creative and exquisite theme based lantern like Duracell Battery, Channel Perfume, Marlboro pack, Homer Simpson etc. Each lantern had a wish written inside

The other highlights of this festival are the floating lantern which carry personal wishes of the people (Wish-lantern hanging -10,000 won), the parade of lantern tunnel created by the students. The festival also offers basic lantern making activities, as well as a “Love Ship” and “Love Bridge” which you can ride/cross for a small fee.  But the major attraction which of course is the firework display, only happened on opening night and we missed it.

The river and its banks is decorated wth lanterns reflecting old Korean traditions and culture, famous monuments of the world and characters/ animals for children.

In addition, the festival is celebrated to remember the veterans of Jinjuseong Fortress Battle.





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Lantern Tunnel with more than 80,000 Lanterns displayed.





HAHAHA….. This one was damn hilarious…..






Folk Dance & Music Show by School Children.






jinju lantern festival

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