Cultural Heritage Festivals in Seoul!
See & Do Tours
November's Main Article
Two of Seoul's biggest cultural heritage festivals take place annually in November. See the city and experience Korean food and art at the Seoul Lantern Festival and the Seoul Kimchi Festival!
The PyeongChang Olympic Games Illuminated in Seoul
As the weather cools down, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Cheonggye Plaza light up. The Seoul Lantern Festival takes place each year in November and this year's festival will run from Nov. 3rd through 19th. 2017's festival theme will focus on the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. The PyeongChang Games will be illuminated in Seoul through majestic sculptural hanji (traditional Korean paper) lanterns. These beautiful illuminated lanterns will be on display along Cheonggyecheon Stream. Some of the lanterns will be of Olympic figure skaters, short-track skaters, and an Olympic ski jump. Festival-goers can take part in fun activities like writing a New Year's wish note, putting up a wish lantern, or hanging wish notes. There will also be food stalls and food trucks operating throughout the festival's duration. Make happy memories of Seoul and bask in the light of beautiful artworks at the Seoul Lantern Festival!
Nov. 3rd to 19th, 2017
Gwanghwamun Station (subway line 5) exit 5 / Jonggak Station (subway line 1) exit 5
Admission is free (activities may charge participation fees)
Kimjang and Kimchi at Seoul Plaza
Kimchi is the cornerstone of Korean cuisine and it's famed for both its delicious flavor and health benefits. Kimchi is so tasty that it's beloved by people all over the world. Kimjang, the process of making kimchi, is a designated UNESCO intangible cultural heritage asset. Visitors to Seoul get a chance to experience kimjang every year in November at the Seoul Kimchi Festival. The 4th Seoul Kimchi Festival will take place at Seoul Plaza from Nov. 3rd to 5th, 2017. There's no better place to experience kimjang culture firsthand in Seoul! Festival-goers can make kimchi themselves (advanced registration required), sample various types of kimchi, visit exhibitions, and even attend kimchi-making master classes. On Nov. 4th and 5th, there will be a kimchi market and food trucks on Mugyo-ro, the street right next to Seoul Plaza. Purchase kimchi, kimchi-making ingredients, and a wide range of Korean food at the festival's market!
※ Kimjang : The process of making and sharing kimchi in large enough quantities that a family will be sustained through the harsh winter. It is emblematic of Korean sharing culture and kimjang is a designated UNESCO intangible cultural heritage asset.
Nov. 3rd to 5th, 2017
110 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Seoul Plaza : City Hall Station (subway lines 1, 2) exit 5
Admission to the festival is free. Activities charge fees, please inquire on site for details. Register online for kimjang at the Seoul Kimchi Festival website.
Korean Dishes Featuring Kimchi
Kimchi-bokkeum-bap (kimchi fried rice) is a simple dish but when kimchi and rice meet in a pan, magic happens. Made by stir-frying kimchi in a pan with rice, kimchi-bokkeum-bap is usually served topped with fried eggs and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This dish can be made at home but it's also commonly found at restaurants throughout Seoul.
Kimchi-jjigae (kimchi stew) is a spicy and hearty soup that is perfect for the cooler temperatures of autumn and winter. Kimchi-jjigae tastes best when made with kimchi that has been aged and fermented as freshly-made kimchi doesn't have the same depth of flavor as aged kimchi. The jiggae is typically made with either pork or with fish. Other ingredients used are onion, chillies, and tofu, but each chef adds or leaves out ingredients as desired. Kimchi-jiggae is one of the most common jjigae in Korea and it can easily be found at restaurants in Seoul.
Kimchi-jeon (kimchi pancake) is a savory pancake that is usually served as a side dish or as a part of a set with beer or makgeolli (rice wine). Kimchi is battered then pan-fried before serving. Special ingredients may include pork belly, shrimp, or sliced squid.
Bossam (napa wraps with pork) and kimchi go together like wine and cheese, it's a perfect pairing. Bossam is pork belly that has been boiled with spices and served in thin slices. Bossam is also considered a kimjang food. When it's kimjang season, bossam is usually prepared whenever kimchi is being made. Once the kimjang is finished, Koreans will sit down for a feast of bossam and fresh kimchi. There's nothing like a bit of bossam to go with freshly made kimchi, visitors to Seoul should seek out one of the capital's many bossam restaurants to have a taste for themselves.