August marks the final month of hot summer weather in Korea and a dramatic shift in the air. The seasons rapidly change in Korea and so, come September, the temperatures will begin to plummet. As such, August is the month of summer and water festivals, making the most of these final weeks of warmth. You can expect many events involving huge water fights as many people aim to cool off from the summer heat. We’ve listed our favourite summer festivals happening in Korea this August below to help you make the most of what remains of the sunny season.
Hangang Summer Festival (한강몽땅 여름축제)
Dates: 19th July 2019 ~ 18th August 2019
Location: (Eng) Areas of Yeouido Hangang Park, Seoul (Kor) 서울특별시 여의도한강공원 등
Admission: Varies per activity
Hangang Summer Festival takes place along the Hangang riverbank and is one of the largest summer festivals in Seoul. It celebrates the Korean summer with over 80 events taking place during the festival. Events taking place include camping, water sports, fire art, night markets, concerts and more. Tickets may have to be purchased for some events so head over to hangang.seoul.go.kr for prices and ticket purchase. The festival can be reached easily from Yeouinaru Station (여의나루역) on Seoul Subway Line 5 (5호선).
Busan Sea Festival (부산 바다축제)
Dates: 2nd August 2019 ~ 6th August 2019
Location: (Eng) 344, World cup-daero, Yeonje-gu, Busan (Kor) 부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로 219
Busan Sea Festival takes place at all five of the main beaches in Busan: Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach, Songdo Beach, Dadaepo Beach and Songjeong Beach – making it one of the biggest summer festivals in Korea. First taking place in 1996, it offers large musical performances, cultural activities and huge water fights. Different events take place on the different beaches so for a full list of events take a look at their website: http://www.bfo.or.kr.
To reach Haeundae Beach, the largest beach in Busan, you will need to take Busan Subway Line 2 to Haeundae Station. You can reach the beach easily from there. The other beaches are reachable by subway or bus from Haeundae.
Bonghwa Euneo (Sweetfish) Festival (봉화은어축제)
Dates: 27th July 2019 ~ 4th August 2019
Location: (Eng) Bonghwa-eup, Bonghwa-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (Kor)경상북도 봉화군 봉화읍
Admission: Free (apart from fishing experience: 10,000 won)
The Bonghwa Euno festival is held in Bonghwa-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, and celebrates the local specialty: sweetfish. The fish has a long history and was given to the king during the Joseon Dynasty. Visitors to the festival can take part in various programs including fishing, water fights and other cultural events. There are also many educational events that aim to teach the local history of fishing as well as ecology and local customs. The majority of programs are free apart from the fishing experience which costs 10,000 won to participate in. To reach the festival from Seoul you can take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) to Bonghwa Bus Terminal (봉화시외버스터미널). From the bus station the festival is only a short walk away.
Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival (통영한산대첩축제)
Dates: 9th August 2019 ~ 13th August 2019
Location: (Eng) 328, Tongyeonghaean-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (Kor) 경상남도 통영시 통영해안로 328 (중앙동)
The Great Battle of Hansan in 1592 is one of the four most famous sea battles in Korean history. Admiral Yi is hailed as one of Korea’s most brilliant naval commanders for his strategy used in the battle. The manoeuvre used by Admiral Yi is known as the Crane Wing Formation. Instead of fighting in a narrow area, Yi chose to lure the Japanese armies into the open sea. Yi sent out a small number of ships into a channel fooling the Japanese armies into thinking the Korean fleet was small. Seeing the small amount of ships, the Japanese immediately attacked. The Korean ships staged a retreat which lured the Japanese ships out into the open sea. Waiting in the open sea were 50 more Korean ships, and Admiral Yi used his famous Crane Wing Formation. He surrounded the enemy ships meaning the Korean army had the advantage despite their small amount of ships. Admiral Yi sank 47 of the Japanese enemy ships, and only 14 survived. This great victory of the Korean naval forces and Admiral Yi is celebrated every year at the Tongyeong Hansan Battle Festival. There are many programs teaching the history of the battle as well as models of the ships used by Yi at the time. The festival is free to visit and can be reached from Seoul by taking a bus from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal (고속터미널역) to Tongyeong Bus Terminal (통영종합버스터미널). From here you can then take a local bus to Culture Square Bus Stop where the festival is held.
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Featured Image: ©Gyeongbok Palace, USAGI_POST, 26.05.19, pixabay.com