Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 12:06 pm
Wondering what the common cultural festivals in Korea are? In today’s post, we will walk you through all the best events (and Korean words associated with each) that you can partake in if you plan to visit the country in the future. After all, what better way to interact with the locals than to spend the time celebrating occasions that are close to their hearts. If you are ready for that, then let the learning begin!
Cultural Festivals In Korea
Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival
Starting with the highly known and most commonly celebrated Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival. It is one of the largest Korean traditional festivals in Korea. For those who want to experience the beauty of cherry blossoms, the Jinhae cherry blossom festival is highly recommended by Korean people.
This festival is conducted in early April, and it lasts for almost ten days. Every corner of the city is decorated with cherry blossom trees for the cherry blossom festivals, and it gives an aesthetically appealing pink vibe. The weather during this month is pleasing too.
This festival is a great opportunity for photographers, both professionals and those who treat it as a hobby, to portray their skills by capturing these beautiful blooming cherry blossom trees. According to some locals, people should avoid weekends because they are crowded.
Almost 2 million tourists visit this festival every year. This festival’s most famous tourist spot is Yeojwacheon Bridge, also commonly known as Romance Bridge. This place is also a shooting spot for many Korean dramas. Korean delicious food that one can try in this festival includes various Korean cuisines like Gimbap, Tteokbokki, Mandu, and Cherry blossom bread.
During this cherry blossom festival, one can experience many events such as Black Eagles Air Show, Victory Parade, Korea Naval Academy, Gyeonghwa Station, and Anmingogae Hill.
Seoul Lantern Festival
Seoul lotus lantern festival is held every year in November. Around 2 million people visit this festival every year. This festival lasted for almost two weeks and was started in 2009. It is one of the most iconic festivals in Korea.
There are many lanterns with led lights in the longest stream in Seoul during the Seoul lantern festival. This event was created to welcome winter. One can properly enjoy this festival by walking along the stream. There are many food stalls and trucks.
Many delicious Korean cuisines, including fish-shaped pastries, Korean BBQ, and other popular Korean snacks like butterfly-shaped candies, are usually a part of this festival. Being a popular Korean food, Bacon is also widely available in these festivals.
Every year there is a different theme for lanterns. People usually create their lanterns as they symbolize good health and wealth. At the end of the festival, people can create wishing lanterns and set them free or send them down the stream.
Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival
Korea has a long history of bullfighting. By 1999 this festival was recognized as the nation’s best bullfighting event. In this festival, around 100 bulls compete, and it is also an important event between Korean and Japanese teams.
The stadium where these bulls encounter each other is huge, and it is known to be crowded on weekends. The ticket price is also quite expensive, unlike other bullfighting events. The bulls butt heads for some time, and once one of the bulls gets scared and runs away, the match is over. The time duration for each is almost 30 minutes. This bullfighting does not involve the torturing of animals.
Sinchon Water Gun Festival
If you are willing to be soaked and wild, this festival is best for you. Tourists can enjoy many exciting games and get soaked during July’s hot weather. Here you can challenge your friends or strangers for a thrilling water gunfight.
The management usually provides you with water guns, raincoats, goggles, and a locker to secure your belongings. This event is conducted only once a year. People have two choices one to get soaked with each other and the other to groove with the DJ.
There are different DJs on the top of the tower placed in the center. There is also the presence of some celebrities. Furthermore, it usually has a safe zone for kids in this festival to enjoy every second of this festival.
Muju Firefly Festival
Muju Firefly Festival invites people to experience the mystery of fireflies which gives nostalgia to adults by reminding them about their childhood. This festival lasts for one week. This exciting festival was started to promote environmental awareness in Muju.
The major attraction in this festival is the fireflies, and this place is a great tourist spot for nature lovers as the fireflies can only survive in a clean and untouched environment. This festival has amazing street food, stalls, music, dance, lights, and other performances.
This festival includes many exciting events like Nature experience events, cultural and art programs, dance performances, and taekwondo. There is also a lot of delicious Korean food that you can find at the Muju firefly festival, such as Bibimbap and Jeongsik.
At the end of the festival, people can write any wish on the lantern and set it free, and in this way, the sky is crowded with many lanterns. Muju is not populated, and it has mountains, lakes, greenery, and beautiful sceneries, so people can also visit these beautiful places during the day.
Korea has a long list of music festivals. Kpop is a global sensation, and it has become really popular not just in Korea but also around the world. Due to this trend, music festivals in Korea have grown dramatically. Usually, these festivals include a lot of famous bands and artists.
These events are considered one of the most significant music events globally. Buying a ticket to these music festivals can be hard because the tickets are usually sold in a day. Every year, these festivals are visited by thousands of fans worldwide as many huge Kpop artists perform for their fans in these music festivals. Famous Korean Music festivals include Kpop World Festival, Asia Song Festival, Busan Rock Festival, and Seoul Jazz Festival.
Busan International Film Festival
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF, recently known as the Pusan Universal Film Celebration, PIFF) is a yearly film celebration held in Haeundae-gu, Busan (otherwise called Pusan) in South Korea. The primary celebration, which occurred from September 13 to 21, 1996, was Korea’s first widespread film celebration.
The BIFF’s fundamental attraction is the chance to see new movies and first-time directors entirely from Asian nations. The Busan Cinema Center is a $150 (USD) million construction planned by Coop Him, an Austrian plan organization.
Andong Mask Dance Festival
North Gyeongsang Territory’s capital and largest city are Andong. The Nakdong Stream crosses it. However, what distinguishes this city is the epicenter of culture and folk traditions. Andong plays host to the Mask Dance Celebration, which began as a 2-day occasion in 1997.
Nowadays, it is celebrated for ten days and stacked with an assortment of exercises like appearances, shows, and good times that occur throughout the city. It’s one of the nation’s coolest and most customary Korean get-togethers.
The celebration developed from a social affair of shamanists to a get-together where normal individuals could also participate. Strategic thinkers and influential people, like priests, aristocrats, and government authorities, often see this event.
Jeju Fire Festival
Jeju Fire Festival is one of the most notable fire festivals globally and is a more sophisticated reinterpretation of Jeju’s livestock practices and takes place on the Korean peninsula.
This event is celebrated to honor the good harvest of the coming year. The festival’s roots come from a tradition called “bange,” where the area burns down from late winter to early spring. This restores the greenery/good harvest and also kills the bug.
The Jeju Fire festival has several grants, including the 2015 and 2016 Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism extraordinary celebrations, the 2016 Jeju Prefectural Extraordinary Autonomy Bureau’s most prominent celebrations, and Korea’s most notable hit awards.
The forefront also recognized the forefront of delightful social assets voted by Jeju residents. With over 300,000 guests annually, other than most events and customs, this festival tests the quality of men here.
In the past, South Korea had a unique male development graduation ceremony, more specifically called Deumdol. This practice involves picking up and carrying 130 kg of stone, and it is said that anyone who can carry it farthest is the most grounded.
This festival is one of Jeju’s most famous and eye-catching festivals. This unique festival will be used to seek happiness and a great harvest next year. There are many practical activities that you can enjoy taking advantage of all of the shared excellence that Jeju offers.
Boryeong Mud Festival
Boryeong mud festival is a yearly celebration celebrated during the summer in Boryeong. Boryeong is a town around 200 km south of Seoul capital of South Korea. The primary Boryeong mud festival celebrations were arranged in 1998.
However, in 1997 an extension of the makeup industry was created in which several mud pads were obtained from Boryeong. The dress was said to be full of minerals and germaniums. In order to advance these beauty care products, the Boryeong Mud Celebration was conceived.
Through this Korean festival, it was trusted that individuals would gather more knowledge about beauty products (cosmetics) like skin-care products, etc. Talking about 2007, there were around 2.2 million festival attendees in Boryeong. It is also one of the most common summer festivals in Korea.
In spite of the fact that the celebration takes place for around two weeks, it is most popular for its last week, which is well known with Korea’s western population. The ultimate end of the week of the celebration is generally the second weekend of the week in July.
There are different sorts of mud from different countries, particularly dead sea salt of Israel, Baikal of Russia, and many other sources. Korea has been depending on bringing bulks of this from different countries. These muds have a wide range of benefits; some promote blood circulation and the deduction of different kinds of wastes from the skin.
Korean Queer Culture Festival
Korean queer culture festival takes place in Korea yearly and aims to shed some light on the rights of the LGBTQ community in South Korea. It resembles several other pride festivals having a proper pride flag all across the globe. It is a relatively modern festival and has fewer participants than the other festivals in Korea.
It started two decades ago in the Daehangno area in South Korea. Initially, the people who took part in this festival were 50. The entire festival was looked down upon badly. Some people mocked and showed aggression towards the attendees.
It was banned to celebrate this festival in 2015, which commenced the following year in 2016 due to extreme pressure from Koreans and some international human rights organizations.
World Culture Kimchi Festival
Moving on to a festival which everyone would love to attend: world culture kimchi festival. It is also known as Seoul Kimchi Festival. Kimchi is one of the most liked and common dishes in Korea. It is generally referred to as banchan which means a side-dish.
Seoul Kimchi Festival dates back to 2014. The Korean government started to share this unique culture with individuals living worldwide. It is more like a contest now in which the fee needs to be paid, and many people take part every year.
Suppose you would also like to learn how to make Kimchi, then get your tickets to South Korea this year to attend this amazing festival. Also, this event is not only celebrated in Korea but also in several co-hosting countries, so mark the dates on your calendar and cash this opportunity.
Jinju Lantern Festival
Jinju lantern festival takes place in the Nam river, where many festival-goers witness the beauty of lanterns all over the place. This name is a rather short and easy-to-remember version of the full name, Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern).
Like every other lantern festival, the people have noticed that they write their wishes and attach them with each lantern to send it down the river. They then stand back and watch as their wish goes and gets lost among the sea of other breathtaking lanterns.
There is a long history to this festival. South Korea and Japan have a history, and this event is associated with the military confrontation between South Korean and Japanese soldiers back in those days. Everything is lit with colors, and the most eye-catching sights are from the city’s bridges and Jinjuseong Fortress.
Damyang Bamboo Festival
Moving on to another most renowned Korean traditional festival: the Damyang bamboo festival. This festival takes place in May. As the name suggests, the festival utilizes Bamboo to make new things.
People who love nature are especially fond of going to this festival. It is an excellent opportunity for adults and children who want to learn how to work/play with bamboo. The location of this event is a Bamboo first in Damyang, which is 2.4 kilometers long.
This festival celebrates the creativity of the local people both in terms of utilizing bamboo and making food. Several competitions and contests are held yearly.
Bringing you a delightful lighting festival of Korea that can instantly make your day. Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival in South Korea is a splendid way of having a fresh start to the day. It takes place in a place near Seoul in which the floral beauty mesmerizes everyone around them.
Many gardens are decorated aesthetically and thus is enough to grab the attention of any passerby. Having different tunnels which are interlinked is the beauty of this festival. After all, it is known as Garden of Morning Calm for a reason.
Hyoseok Cultural Festival
If you are an art/literature lover, you would love this festival. Hyoseok cultural festival is a festival that is celebrated to honor South Korea’s renowned writer “Lee Hyo-seok.” It usually exhibits the literature hall of ‘When the Buckwheat Flowers Bloom’ for the people to come and get aware about.
Many educational trips are happening around this time because this event is perfect to be celebrated as an educational event.
Jarasum Jazz Festival
Let’s talk about music, shall we? In South Korea, an entire festival is named after the Jazz genre of music. This festival dates back to 2004 and has now become a sensational festival celebrated all across the globe. It has received some well-deserved international attention.
Jindo Sea Parting Festival
This festival takes place in the southern tip of South Korea. There are two islands in that area that are entirely separated until this event. This event occurs once every year when there is an opening in the Jindo Sea 1.8 mile-long stretch.
Several myths surround this festival. Some people consider it good luck since God is parting the sea to give a glimpse of a miracle.
Homigot sunrise festival
The sunrise festival started in 1999. This event takes place at the sunrise peak of Jeju island. Many people come to the site to see the sunrise. The sunrise in Homgit takes place at Homigot is 7:32 a.m. This festival has several exciting elements, with the sunrise concert being our favorite one since.
By now, you must have all the cultural information you need to know about the festivals in South Korea. South Koreans are incredibly excited about these events, so having basic knowledge about them will prove beneficial in the long run. If you are learning Korean, you should think about Ling App by Simya Solutions. Download it today and start learning about Korean and 60+ other languages!