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5.07.2018

Seoul Searching | Summer Festivals in Korea You Wouldn't Want to Miss.

Truth be told, summer isn't my most favorite time of the year here in the Philippines. The hot and humid weather and the inferno-like temperatures often take a toll on my poor lungs, and they're not very friendly on my sensitive skin either. This is one of the major reasons why I love flying to Korea during this time - to stay away from the extreme heat and humidity and the 39°C-plus temperatures.

This year, however, saw a change of plans in our travel schedule, attributed to the adjustments in my son's school calendar. We had to push back our supposed 'spring trip' by an entire month because Yue still had school activities until the first of May. Other kids are already preparing for next month's school opening, and we just started our school break, lol. Nonetheless, we're glad to finally take a break from all the school work and fly back to Korea in a few weeks' time!

Spring will be nearly over by the time we arrive in Korea, which means no more cherry blossoms for me yet again. Still, we're excited to experience a different season in the Land of the Morning Calm - summer, or at least the onset of it. My husband assures me that summer in Korea won't be as hot and humid as summer in the Philippines, and I sure hope that would be the case. I don't want my asthma to act up while I'm on vacation and miss the chance to enjoy these summer festivals in Korea!

1. Korean Folk Village Chosun Cultural Festival (April 7 - June 24, 2018)
Welcome to Joseon.
Held annually at the beginning of spring until the first few days of summer, the 'Welcome to Joseon' festival gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like in Korea during the Joseon era (1392 - 1897).

The festival features parades and performances as well as hands-on activities such as making traditional hopae identification tags that were carried by male citizens age 16 and above, mapae tags that were used to register horses and males from far away locales, and even hangnang incense pouches which were used to prevent contagious diseases and keep the bad spirits away.
One of the live shows during the festival.
The event is hosted by the Korean Folk Village, the country's premiere cultural theme park. You'll feel like you've traveled back through time as you see the cast members wandering freely throughout the park and interacting with visitors. If you're lucky, you might even get a chance to 'go on stage' and join the cast members during the performances.

To get to the Korean Folk Village, get off at Suwon Station and take the shuttle bus located at exit 4. Bus fare is free, but you have to take note of the bus schedule.

2. Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival (May 27 - June 12, 2018)
Photo credit: Iamnazza.
One of the most beautiful festivals during this time of the year, the Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival aims to share the beauty of these gorgeous blooms with its citizens and guests from around the world.

Held at the Seoul Grand Park from May to June each year, the event gives visitors a chance to take part in various cultural programs amidst a sea of ten million roses. Concerts, workshops, and cultural performances are some of the highlights of this annual event.

To get to Seoul Grand Park, take the subway to Seoul Grand Park Station exit 2

3. Seoul Land Character & Flower Festival (March 24 - June 6, 2018)
Photo credit: Visit Korea.
Seoul Land, Korea's first amusement/theme park, hosts a variety of festivals and exhibitions throughout the year. One of them is the Character & Flower Festival, an event well-loved by families with kids and even kids-at-heart. 

The festival kicks off at the onset of spring and transforms the amusement park into a colorful garden with flowers of various types. Children will love to meet their favorite animated characters such as Larva, the Pawmily, and the Canimals, while parents will have the chance to enjoy nature and learn more about the flora and fauna through the exhibitions and special events. The highlight of this festival is the parade of characters, where guests can dance and march along! 
Parade of characters.
To get to Seoul Land, take the subway to Seoul Grand Park Station exit 2 and ride the elephant train going to the theme park.

4. Haeundae Sand Festival (May 19 - 22, 2018)
Photo credit: Apple Holiday. 
Taking place on Haeundae Beach in sunny Busan, this festival centers on beach-inspired activities such as beach volleyball, a marathon race, and an exhibition of different types of sand from around the world.

One of the highlights of the Haeundae Sand Festival is the sand bath, where visitors are buried in the sand from head to toe. Also known as sand therapy, this practice has been known since the time of Ancient Egypt and is said to be beneficial for one's health as it cures an array of musculoskeletal diseases, as well as neurological diseases.
Sand bath.
At night, the festival gets even livelier with live music and performances, plus a spectacular display of fireworks. 

To get to Haeundae Beach, take the KTX to Busan Station. From there, take Bus 1003 and get off at the Haeundae Beach bus stop

5. Ultra Korea (June 8-10, 2018)
Photo credit: UMF Korea.
If music festivals are your thing, and if you're visiting Korea this June, then you should not miss Ultra Korea. The first and the biggest music festival in Asia, Ultra Korea made its debut in 2012 as a two-day event. Now on its eight year, the festival returns as a three-day event with top artists from around the world gathering in Seoul for one huge, heart-pumping party.

This year's line-up includes The Chainsmokers, Zedd, and David Guetta. The event will be held at the Seoul Olympic Station with ticket prices starting at 180,000 won (around Php 9000 or $170).

To get to Seoul Olympic Station, take the subway to Sports Complex Station exit 6 or 7.

6. Boryeong Mud Festival (July 13-22, 2018)
Boryeong Mud Festival!
Among all the festivals in Korea, the Boryeong Mud Festival is perhaps the most popular among international visitors, attracting millions of tourists from around the globe each year. Promising nothing but sheer fun and entertainment, the festival takes place at Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, a city in Chungcheongnam Province.
They love mud!
During the festival, the entire beachfront is is decked up with arrangements such as slides and inflatables, allowing visitors to swim, splash, and wallow in the special mud of the region. Mud wrestling, mud sliding, and swimming in mud pools are some of the most popular activities; among the women, spa and beauty treatments using the Boryeong mud are huge hits.

To get to Daecheon Beach, take an express bus to Boryeong via the Seoul Central City Bus Terminal. From the Boryeong Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Daecheon Beach. 

7. Sinchon Water Gun Festival (July 7-8, 2018)
Stick to your guns!
Every summer, the streets of Sinchon are closed off for two days of wet and wild fun, otherwise known as the Sinchon Water Gun Festival.

Each day of the festival kicks off with an opening ceremony, followed by a parade, and then a 'bubble bath', where the crowd is doused with soap foam bubbles. If you're lucky, you might chance upon your favorite idol or Hallyu star in attendance - like Suzy, who took part in this water festival a few years back.
Suzy at the Sinchon Water Gun Festival.
But the highlight of this event is the epic water gun fight, which needs no further explanation. Everyone is welcome to participate, including kids. Just make sure you're all geared up for battle with your own water gun and some spare clothes.
This means war.
To join the battle, take the subway to Sinchon Station exit 2 or 3.

Planning a trip to Korea this summer? Which festivals would you like to take part in? :)

19 replies:

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very interesting place to visit! I very much enjoyed your vibrant and beautiful photographs! Daisy

Elizabeth O said...

These all sound like great festivals to attend. I love the sound of the flower festival and the water gun festival how fun!!

Stephanie said...

All of these look like so much fine! Id love to go for the mud or water gun festival.

Busy Loving Life said...

All of these festivals look so fun! I would definitely like to go to the Boryeong Mud Festival!

Cia Black said...

If I had the funds I would so plan a trip to Korea simply for what seems like an epic water battle.

stephanie shuman said...

Great photos, it looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!

eliza said...

Wow! This is a festive. More than just a soul searching for me. I haven't heard some of the places and event that you mentioned, well that's a good thing to know for me. Thanks for sharing!

Megan said...

These sound like beautiful experiences! If I were in Korea, I'd love to go to these. The rose festival in particular I'd love to photograph some day :)

Rachel said...

I am not planning to go to Korea this summer but I actually have friends that are. I am going to share this with them.

Carol Cassara said...

Everything sounds like a lot of fun! This is definitely how you want to spend your summer, by going to different festivals. What an experience!

Regine L. said...

Wow! Those are fun and exciting festivals! There are so many beautiful festivals, I can't even choose.

Kelly Edgar said...

Awesome list of festivals! They all sound amazing but I would really love the chance to attend the Seoul grand park rose festival, it sounds and looks so gorgeous!

Gladys Parker said...

I believe I would enjoy the Welcome to Joseon festival if I understood the language. I have a new found interest in history. The Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival as I love flowers.

Gladys Parker said...

I believe I would enjoy the Korean Folk Village Chosun Cultural Festival if I knew the language. I have a new found interest in history from the 1700's til early 1900's. I would also love the Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival as I love flowers.

Explorethe6 said...

These all sound like so much fun! I definitely need to check out the Haeundae Sand Festival and get a sand bath too!

Lyosha Varezhkina said...

The festivals sounds like so much fun! i wish I was in Seoul to witness it now

Trisha said...

I understand your trepidation about the summer because I am from India. But then that's when most families can enjoy activities like these due the kids summer vacations. This looks like a fab round up. Thanks for sharing!

Sayantan Chakraborty said...

I have heard so little about Korea. It is quite refreshing to know about the country. Thanks for sharing!

Karlyn Cruz said...

Oh my goodness! How fun is this! My aunt would definitely love this! She is so into anything that has to do with Korean entertainment. So this should be so much fun for her!