In May, the weather in Korea becomes significantly warmer than previous months – ending the Spring season which usually only lasts two to three weeks in April. Immediately thereafter, the temperatures jump to around 20 degrees Celsius and continue upward whilst the nighttime temperatures hover around 11 degrees. Due to warmer weather yet low humidity levels, outdoor festivals become very popular in May so if you happen to be visiting Korea at this time, be sure to go outside to make the best of the weather.
Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) (연등회)
Dates: May 3rd 2019 ~ May 5th 2019
Location: (Eng) 55, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Kor) 서울특별시 종로구 우정국로 55
The Lotus Lantern Festival has been held in Korea for thousands of years. The lighting of the lanterns is said to bring health and well-being to the world for the following year. Large lantern sculptures will be displayed along Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계천) in Seoul from May 3rd to May 12th. There will be a main parade day held on May 4th from 19:00 to 21:00 along Jongno Street (종로). During the parade, anyone is welcome to join in, so you can even light your own lantern and take part. After the parade from 21:30 to 23:00, performances will be held at Jonggak Intersection (종각). Then on the following day May 5th, various performances and food tasting events will be held around Jogyesa Temple (조계사). The festival is completely free to attend so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Seoul this May. The closest subway station to most of the festival activities is Jonggak Station (종각역) on Line 1 (1호선); the station exit is on Jongno Street and only a short walk to Jogyesa Temple.
Miryang Arirang Festival (밀양 아리랑대축제)
Dates: May 16th 2019 ~ May 19th 2019
Location: (Eng) 324, Jungang-ro, Miryang-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (Kor) 경상남도 밀양시 중앙로 324 (내일동)
Admission: Some fees apply to certain performances
Arirang is the name given to Korea’s national folk song. It’s thought to be more than 600 years old with the first official document dating the song back to 1756. During the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945, the song was used as a resistance anthem by the Korean people. The song has been used continuously throughout Korean history as a demonstration of the Korean people’s resilience and strength. As a celebration of this song in our fast-paced modern world, a festival celebrating the song and its history is held every year in Miryang (밀양시); a city to the south east of Korea. The festival will consist of many traditional dances and songs, as well as traditional foods and other cultural events. It’s a great chance to experience the deep roots of all that has made Korea that which we know and love today. Miryang can be reached from Seoul by bus or train. To take the train, take the KTX from Seoul Station (서울역) to Miryang Station (밀양역). Alternatively, take the bus from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal (강남고속터미널) to Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal (밀양시외버스터미널). From both Miryang Station or Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus number 1 to Yeongnamru Pavilion Bus Stop to reach the festival itself.
Boseong Green Tea Festival (보성다향대축제)
Dates: May 2nd 2019 ~ May 5th 2019
Location: (Eng) 775, Nokcha-ro, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do (Kor) 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 775
Admission: Some fees may apply to certain performances
Boseong, a county in the far south east of Korea, is most famous for producing green tea. Boseong is now the largest producer of tea in the whole of Korea. Each year, Boseong hosts its annual green tea festival. The festival is held amongst the green tea fields and aims to show attendees more about the tea making process from start to finish. You can get involved by picking tea leaves, making tea and learning about tea ceremonies. There are also cultural performances held and a variety of green tea-themed food available. Boseong can be reached from Seoul easily by bus. From Seoul Express Bus Terminal (서울고속터미널) take an intercity bus to Boseong (보성). Then, take the Boseong-Gunhak (보성-군학) route bus to Daehan Dawon (대한다원).
Be sure to enjoy the great outdoors and all that it offers in Korea.
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Featured Image: ©Miryang, Leewoochul, 10.02.19, pixabay.com