SEOUL– The following are the major cultural and tourist festivals to be held in South Korea in December.
* Seoul Lantern Festival
When: Dec. 16-31
Where: Gwanghwamun Square
The Seoul Lantern Festival, which has been held every year at Cheonggyecheon, or Cheonggye Stream, in central Seoul, is one of the city’s most famous annual nighttime festivals. The 14th edition of the festival will be held at Gwanghwamun Square to mark the reopening of the square in August after nearly two years of renovation.
The major landmark in the capital city will become an extravaganza of light with about 30,000 lanterns illuminating the winter nightscape.
* Busan Fireworks Festival
When: Dec. 17
Where: Gwangalli Beach, Busan
The annual fireworks festival, the 17th edition this year, lights up the sky over Busan’s Gwangalli Beach. The festival has grown from a small regional affair into one of country’s major festivals, drawing visitors from across the nation and from outside of the country. This year’s festival was originally scheduled for Nov. 5 but was indefinitely postponed, as the event fell during the national mourning period for the victims of the crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood that killed at least 158 people on Oct. 29.
For more information, call 051-501-6051 or visit the website (http://www.bfo.or.kr).
* Busan International Art Fair
When: Dec. 1-5
Where: Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan
This year’s 21st Busan International Art Fair (BIAF) in the South Korean port city of Busan, the only open art market in Asia, brings together some 3,000 artworks by 250 artists in South Korea and from across the world.
For more information, call 051-806-1004 or 051-803-8830, or visit the website (http://biaf.kr).
* Seoul Independent Film Festival
When: Dec. 1-9
Where: CGV Apgujeong, Indie Space and Seoul Art Cinema theaters in Seoul
The Seoul Independent Film Festival (SIFF) is an annual competitive independent film festival dedicated to showcasing films of all genres and promoting films that challenge traditional mindsets and provide new perspectives. A total of 127 films will be screened during the nine-day festival, including dramas, documentaries, animations and experimental films.
For more information, call 02-362-9513 or visit the website (https://siff.kr).
* Haeundae Lighting Festival
When: Nov. 18-Jan. 24
Where: Haeundae Beach and Haeundae Square, Busan
The 9th Haeundae Lighting Festival is establishing itself as one of the key winter season festivals at Haeundae Beach in the southeastern port city of Busan. This year’s edition, under the theme “Again Haeundae, the Sea of Light,” will feature various lighting works including an installation that reflects fantastic waves of light on the sandy beach. Compared with last year, the festival period was doubled in length and public participation programs are being operated at a pre-pandemic level this year. For more information, call 051-749-4061~4 or visit the website (http://www.haeundae.go.kr).
* Seongsan Sunrise Festival
When: Dec. 30-Jan. 1
Where: Villages and coastal areas surrounding Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), Jeju Island
Festivals to greet the first sunrise of the new year will be held across the nation from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1. For the breathtaking sunrise from a peak that is one of Jeju’s must-see attractions, the annual Seongsan Sunrise Festival on the southern resort island of Jeju is one of the sunrise festivals most worth experiencing.
The festival peaks as spectators watch the rising of the sun on Jan. 1, and includes performances and an event where participants record their New Year’s wishes.
Source: Yonhap News Agency