Every time this year, the area of Gwanghwamun features thousands and thousands of lanterns. Originally held to celebrate peace back in Shilla Dynasty, Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) will take place from May 3rd to May 5th this year. During the festival period, the venue will be chock full of attractions. Hundreds of booths will open along the street in front of Jogyesa Temple offering a variety of cultural experience programs and activities. Expanding upon such programs, Yeon Deung Hoe continues to attract more and more visitors as one of Seoul's biggest festival.
Lighting up their self-crafted lanterns, various participants walk along a lantern parade to showcase their lanterns emphasizing the beauty of tradition and culture. This year, with Children's Day (May 5) coinciding with the festival dates, various traditional games and activities for children will be made available everywhere, making this the perfect festival to enjoy with your kids.
The sound of drums reverberates throughout Seoul. Maybe it's due to most Koreans being great music enthusiasts, but there's a great number of festivals dedicated to music in Seoul. Let the beeating drums blow away your worries at this year's Seoul Drum Festival scheduled to take place from May 25th to May 26th.
As one of Seoul's main festivals, Seoul Drum Festival will feature various drum performances (non-verbal performances) surpassing language, race, and country borders. Like last year, the festival will feature a performance lineup made up of top world-class drummers, a drum exhibition, and various experience programs for the enjoyment of festivalgoers. For those that want to really immerse themselves in the experience, take note of the master class on the second day of the festival. There, visitors will be able to see close up the drumming technique of world-class drummer Chris Coleman. 50 people will be selected through an SNS event to participate in this unique opportunity.
Fresh scent of roses are abundant during this time of year. Stretching 5.15 km from the entrance, the road of roses is truly a spectacular sight to behold. A variety of flowers, including roses, are in full bloom throughout the garden, providing plenty of spots to take beautiful photos. Featuring plenty of experience programs and food choices on top of roses, Seoul Rose Festival has taken root as one of Seoul's major festivals. Walking along the Rose Road, visitors will be greeted with many booths selling wares and food trucks. The main stage will feature famous singers and high-quality performances as well. Don't fret if you can't make it to the festival during the day because there's always the night. The Jungnangcheon Stream nearby will be lit up during the night, giving off a unique, romantic atmosphere quite different from the day.
A perfect place to go with your family or lovers, Seoul Rose Festival's main event will take place from May 24th to May 26th while its subevent, Little Rose Festival, will take place a week prior to and after the main festivities, leaving a total of 17 days to enjoy the festival.
As night falls, a Bamdokkaebi (goblin) night market opens. Like a goblin which come out to play in the night and disappear in the morning, Bamdokkaebi Night Market offers plenty to see and do for its visitors. As a major Seoul festival, Bamdokkaebi Night Market takes place in several popular locations throughout the city, including Yeouido Hangang Park, DDP, Cheonggye Plaza, Oil Tank Culture Park, etc.
Held under the theme of "a nightly tour around the world", Yeouido's night market will feature global sellers and artists. Banpo's market will have a romantic atmosphere with its rainbow fountain and night lights where festivalgoers can enjoy radio, ballet, and tango performances under the moonlight. A tourist market featuring traditional performances, food trucks, and handmade products will take place near the Cheonggyecheon area. Browsing through handmade goods crafted by skill artisan can be pretty fun here. As the center of fashion, DDP's night market will feature trendy music, fashion, and food for the younger crowd. Last but not least, the Season Market at Oil Tank Culture Park will be held as an eco-friendly night market featuring eco-friendly handmade jackets, upcycling booths, dishwashing campaigns and more.
Come taste the famous food pictured on social media sites and enjoy the various programs and performances offered at the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Market which will last until October.
Offering different sets of traditional experiences by season, All About Korean Traditional Experience will be held until May 15th. Already a famous event well-known among visitors, All About Korean Traditional Experience will be adding new programs to its lineup this year so that more people can enjoy a variety of different experiences. This year, the event will feature new programs like playing traditional games, learning traditional dance, making gubang craft, learning traditional martial arts, drawing folk painting with color pencils, and making yangtangguk(Korean coffee) in addition to programs offered last year like making rice cake, working with natural dye, making traditional incense, wearing hanbok, making arrows, dabbling in falconry, and participating in tea ceremonies.
Open everyday excluding Mondays, programs are available from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Like last year, visitors must book at least 2 days in advance and receive a confirmation to participate in the programs. If there are remaining tickets available, visitors can also purchase them on-site. After participating in a program, a walk around the area is recommended. Surrounded by hanok houses and spring flowers, Namsangol Hanok Village is a picturesque place with Namsan Mountain as its backdrop. Visitors will be sure to spend a memorable day in this area.
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