Tea, pottery, bamboo, butterflies, mimes, Arirang, love stories, food, artwork, happiness, lanterns and more! There are so many exciting things happening in Korea that the lucky tourist can take advantage of. Here are some of the festivals and events that we are super excited about!
Ansan International Street Festival
Dates: 1st – 7th May
Location: Ansan Cultural Square
Ansan Street Arts Festival is one of the biggest performing arts festivals in Korea, hosted and organised by Ansan City and Ansan Cultural Foundation. You’re in for a treat this year! As it is the 14th anniversary of this festival, Ansan International Street Arts Festival will be presenting various performances from street theatre to music and dance! This includes performances by famous street art performers from all over the world, as well as public participants, by making the public square of Ansan the main scene for international street art.
This year, almost 70 performances will take place at Ansan Cultural Square, especially, ‘Heliosphere’ by the British team ‘Dream Engine’, ‘Gauguin’s Turtle‘ by the French team ‘Luc Amoros’, ‘CEOGOS’ by the Brazilian team ‘Desvio Coletivo’, ‘People’s Tower’ by a French team ‘Olivier Grossetete’.
1st to 3rd May, are preprogrammes around Ansan city, giving you an opportunity to see the performances in advance, whilst 5th to 7th May is the official festival.
Damyang Bamboo Festival
Dates: 2nd – 7th of May.
Location: 119, Jungnogwon-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do.
Admission: Admission charges and activity fees may apply.
Love bamboo and bamboo products as much as we do? Like the sound of exploring and having fun in a 2.4 Kilometer bamboo forest? Then this festival is perfect for you! Not only does this festival celebrate the beauty and functionality of bamboo, it also provides lots of fun activities that anyone can enjoy. There is the fair, bamboo instrument performance contest, writing & painting competition, bamboo rafting, traditional bamboo bottled liquor making (Daetongsul), basket fishing, and a bamboo sword cutting competition! For those of the more athletic inclination, there is also river sports like water cycling, and log rafting! Another great experience awaiting anyone who adds this festival to their itinerary is the food! Not only are there many great bamboo related dishes to try, but Damyang’s local cuisine is also on offer for anyone looking to satisfy their hunger!
Iksan Seodong Festival
Dates: 4th – 7th of May.
Location: Geumma Seodong Park
Admission: Admission charges may apply for some activities.
Formerly known as the Mahan Folk Festival, the Iksan Seodong Festival celebrates many of the wonderful things about the 1400 year history of the Baekje Kingdom, including a royal love story! Prince Seodong, who later became King Mu, and the princess Sunhwa! Visitors to this festival can take in the many wonderful performances, including opening & closing ceremonies, “King Mu’s dream,” lighting ritual, and even the Prince Seodong contest, (which is somewhat like an all-male beauty contest.) Activities include the Baekje tour riding a dragon, artifact discovery, the hanging of wish lanterns, and the traditional playground!
Miryang Arirang Festival
Date: 17th – 20th of May.
Location: Areas of Yeongnamru Pavilion and Miryang riverside.
Admission: Admission charges may apply for performances.
Many people who are familiar with Korean music, will have heard the term Arirang before. For those who haven’t, Arirang is a national folk song created by a warrior monk during the Imjin War to express the principles and faithfulness of the Korean people under the Sung Confucianism. Throughout history, many variations of the song have become popular throughout the different regions of Korea. This Miryang Arirang festival not only celebrates the Miryang Arirang style, but also the Jeonseong Arirang, and Jindo Arirang styles as well. Visitors to this festival will get to experience all three styles with special performances and more! The festival aims to celebrate the beauty of Arirang and help keep its tradition alive in an ever-changing modern world.
Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival
Dates: 19th – 22nd of May.
Location: Tea Culture Center area (Hwagae-myeon & Akyang-myeon, Hadong-gun.)
Hadong is one of the most famous places in Korea when it comes to tea production. Why? you may ask. Well, Hadong was the first tea plantation site in Korea, and because of that heritage they have decided to use only traditional methods to handle their tea products, instead of using modern machinery, the result is some seriously high quality (and often expensive) tea. Visitors to this festival can sample a variety Hadong’s tea completely free of charge, and also purchase the tea products at bargain prices if they so choose! There are also many exciting events and hands-on activities to be enjoyed. The tea lovers in us are excited just at the thought of this festival!
There’s too many great things happening this month to list them all here, but you can find all of these festivals and more at the VisitKorea Website!
Planning to be in Korea this May? Going to any of these festivals? Think we missed something that should be on the list? Let us know!
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Featured Image Source: © Ansan Cultural Festival Office, 15.03.2018