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Witness These Spectacular Festivals in Korea

9 mins. read

Korea, also known as the Republic of Korea, is a country located in East Asia on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. It shares borders with North Korea to the north and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east, the Yellow Sea to the west, and the Korea Strait to the south. Korea is known for its rich cultural heritage dating back thousands of years. The country has a long and fascinating history, which influences from China, Japan, and other neighbouring countries have shaped.

One of the most notable aspects of Korean culture is its vibrant and colourful festivals. The festivals in Korea reflect the country's long history, as well as its modern values and traditions. Many of these festivals are rooted in ancient customs and beliefs and are celebrated throughout the year.

Some of the most popular festivals in Korea include the Boryeong Mud Festival, which takes place in July and celebrates the therapeutic properties of mud; the Busan International Film Festival, which is held in October and showcases the best in international cinema; and the Jeju Fire Festival, which takes place in March and is a celebration of the island's volcanic heritage. Other notable Korean festivals include the Seoul Lantern Festival, which takes place in November and features thousands of lanterns lighting up the city; the Andong Mask Dance Festival, which celebrates traditional Korean mask dance; and the Jinju Lantern Festival, which is a celebration of the country's military heritage and takes place in October.

Some famous festivals in Korea

As one of the most vibrant and cultural countries in Asia, Korea has plenty of festivities and events that take place throughout the year. The festivals of Korea are a blend of traditional and modern aspects that bring together people from all walks of life. Let's explore some of the most popular festivals in Korea.

1. Boryeong Mud Festival

The Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the most famous festivals in South Korea, attracting visitors from around the world. This festival is celebrated in July, and the small city of Boryeong, located on the west coast of the country, hosts this event. This festival is known for its mud-based activities, like mud wrestling, sliding, and even a mud prison. Besides these unique activities, visitors can enjoy live music and dance performances.

2. Busan International Film Festival

The Busan International Film Festival is the largest film festival in Asia and takes place in the city of Busan. Every year, film enthusiasts from around the world come to Busan to watch some of the best Korean and international films. This festival started in 1996 and has grown to become a prominent showcase of Korean cinema. Besides film screenings, there are seminars, exhibitions, and cultural events.

3. Jeju Fire Festival

The Jeju Fire Festival is one of the most popular festivals on the island of Jeju. This festival is celebrated in March, and it marks the end of the winter season. During this time, locals light up large bonfires that can be seen from miles away. Visitors can also enjoy traditional dances, music performances, and food stalls. This festival is known for its unique combination of fire and water attractions.

4. Seoul Lantern Festival

The Seoul Lantern Festival is one of the most famous festivals in South Korea, with over three million visitors each year. The festival is held in November, and the entire city of Seoul is adorned with colourful and creative lanterns. The lantern designs are inspired by Korean myths and legends, and visitors can enjoy a peaceful evening stroll along the lantern-lit streets.

5. Jinju Lantern Festival

Jinju Lantern Festival

The Jinju Lantern Festival is a celebration of Korean military and cultural history. This festival takes place in the small city of Jinju and showcases the history of the Korean military. Visitors can enjoy a lantern parade that features over 20,000 lanterns, along with traditional dances, music performances, and food stalls. Apart from its historical significance, this festival is also known for its beautiful lantern displays.

6. Seollal Festival

Seollal, also known as the Lunar New Year, is one of the most important traditional festivals in Korea. It usually takes place in late January or early February and lasts for three days. During this time, families gather together to celebrate the beginning of the new lunar year. One of the main customs of Seollal is the ancestral rites ceremony, where families pay respects to their ancestors by making offerings of food and drink. One of the most famous traditional foods eaten during Seollal in Korea is tteokguk, a soup made with sliced rice cakes, beef broth, and various toppings such as eggs, vegetables, and meat. Eating tteokguk during Seollal is believed to bring good luck and symbolizes the wish for a long and prosperous life.

7. Dano Festival

Dano, also known as the Danoje Festival, is a traditional Korean holiday that falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, usually in late May or early June. The festival is celebrated throughout Korea with various customs and rituals, including the washing of hair with iris water, swinging on swings, and performing traditional folk dances. One of the traditional foods eaten during Dano is ssuk, or mugwort, which is believed to have healing properties and is often used in traditional Korean medicine. Ssuk is used to make various dishes such as ssuk rice cakes, ssuk pancakes, and ssuk soup.

8. Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is a popular winter South Korean festival held in the city of Hwacheon. The festival is centred around ice fishing for sancheoneo, a type of trout that is native to the region. In addition to ice fishing, the festival features a range of activities such as sledging, ice skating, and snow tubing. Visitors can also sample a variety of traditional Korean foods, including grilled sancheoneo, hotteok (sweet pancakes filled with brown sugar and nuts), and dak-galbi (spicy stir-fried chicken).

9. Daeboreum Festival

Daeboreum is a traditional Korean holiday celebrated on the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, which usually falls in February. The festival is a celebration of the coming of spring and is marked by various customs and traditions. One of the main traditions of Daeboreum is the burning of daljip, or bamboo grass, which is believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. The festival also features traditional games and activities, such as tug-of-war and yutnori, a board game played with wooden sticks. One of the most popular south Korean food eaten during Daeboreum is ogokbap, a nutritious rice dish made with five grains and beans. Other traditional foods include jeon (savoury pancakes), nuts, and fruit. Daeboreum is a time for family and community and is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Korea.

10. Chopail - Buddha’s Birthday

Chopail, also known as Buddha's Birthday or Seokga Tansinil, is a major festival in Korea. The festival falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, usually in May. One of the main customs of Chopail is the lotus lantern parade, where participants carry colourful lanterns shaped like lotus flowers through the streets. One of the traditional dishes eaten during Chopail is bibimbap, a rice dish topped with various vegetables and meat.

11. Chuseok - Harvest Festival

Chuseok, also known as the Korean Harvest Festival, is a major traditional holiday in Korea that celebrates the autumn harvest. Traditional customs include visiting ancestral graves, making offerings of food, and playing traditional games. One of the most famous foods eaten during Chuseok is songpyeon, a type of rice cake filled with sweet or savoury fillings such as sesame seeds, red beans, or chestnuts.

Overall, the festivals of Korea are a delightful mix of traditional and modern events that showcase the country's rich culture and heritage. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or a cultural explorer, the festivals of Korea have something for everyone. Each festival offers unique experiences for visitors. So, Plan accordingly your south Korea tour package so that you don't miss out on any of these festivals.

March 27, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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