Two Korean Festivals to Enjoy at Night in November!

**Last updated on: 15 October 2020**

If you are going to Korea in November, there are two annual festivals which you could enjoy at night, one in Busan and another in Seoul.  However, due to Covid-19, depending on the circumstances, these festivals may be postponed or cancelled in 2020. You may refer to the respective websites mentioned below for the updated information.  For the purpose of this blog post, I would use the information based on the festivals held in 2019.

Busan Fireworks Festival (부산 불꽃축제)(2 November 2019)

Source: Korea Tourism Organization

The Busan Fireworks Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Korea, attracting over 1 million visitors each year.  It is an annual event entering into its 15th anniversary in 2019 and was held at the Gwangalli Beach in Busan on 2 November 2019. There are three vantage points to watch this event, namely, Gwangalli Beach, Dongbaek-seom, and Igi-dae.

This event is a multmedia show combining the colourful fireworks with high-tech laser light shows against background music.  The 2019 event was also used to celebrate the hosting of the South Korean-ASEAN Special Summit 2019.

For further detail, please visit the Busan Fireworks Festival website and watch the promotional video. You can watch this video to get a glimpse of the Busan Fireworks Festival held in 2019.

Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제)(1-17 November 2019)

Source: Visit Seoul.Net

The Seoul Lantern Festival is an annual event held along the Cheonggyecheon Stream and the 2019 Festival was held from 1-17 November 2019. The 2019 theme was “Your Seoul, Light through Dream” and displayed lanterns depicting characters and scenes from Korean folk tales and stories and fairy tales from around the world. You could enjoy the lit-up lanterns from 5pm to 10pm (Sat/Sun: 11pm) during the festival period.

There were 4 themed sections from Cheonggye Plaza to Supyogyo Bridge (approximately 1.2 km in length) along the Cheonggyecheon Stream as follows:

Section 1 – Cheonggye Plaza : “Seoul, Your Fairytale”

In this section, you could find lanterns depicting the Little Prince and the fox.

Section 2 – from Cheonggye Fountain to Gwangtonggyo Bridge : “Seoul, Find Your Fairytale”

In this section, you could find lanterns relating to fairy tales of Korea and the other countries, for example, Red Bean Porridge Granny and the Tiger, The Brother and the Sister who became the Sun and the Moon, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Alice in Wonderland, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Peter Pan, etc.

Section 3 – from Gwangtonggyo Bridge to Jangtonggyo Bridge: “Seoul, Old Tales Come Alive”

In this section, there are lanterns relating to Korean history and culture, for example, King Sejong, Admiral Yi Sun Shin and the Turtle Ship, Korean traditional fan dance and mask dance, Korean traditional lion dance, Pungmul traditional music performance, etc.

Section 4 – from Jangtonggyo Bridge to Supyogyo Bridge: “Seoul, Our Fairytale Land”

In this section, there are lanterns depicting landmark buildings or structures in Korea and other countries, for example, Seoul Culture Station, N Seoul Tower, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Oil Tank Culture Park, Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty, etc.

There are also citizen participation programs like floating the wish lantern and making your own lantern.  You could refer to the Seoul Lantern Festival website for detail.

If you are going to South Korea in November, it is worthwhile to spend some time to participate in the above two festivals – it would surely be a wonderful experience for you!

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