|2014 Korean Cultural Festivals at a Glance|
|Premier Festivals (2)|
|Top Festivals (8)||7080 Chungjang Recollection Festival, Gangjin Celadon Festival, Ganggyeong Fermented Seafood Festival , Muju Firefly Festival, Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal Festival, Icheon Rice Cultural Festival, Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Jindo Miracle Sea Festival|
|Outstanding Festivals (10)||Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Festival, Damyang Bamboo Festival, Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival, Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival, Changwon Gagopa Chrysanthemum Festival, Chuncheon International Mime Festival, The Great Battle of Hansan Festival, Hyoseok Cultural Festival, Pohang International Fireworks Festival, Hansan Ramie Fabric Cultural Festival|
|Up-and-coming Festivals (20)||Gwangalli Eobang Festival, Geochang International Festival of Theater, Goryeong Daegaya Experience Festival, Goesan Red Pepper Festival, Mokpo Maritime Cultural Festival, Dongnaeeupseong History Festival, Boseong Green Tea Festival, Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival, Bonghwa Eun-Uh (Sweet Fish) Festival, Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival, Yeoju Ogok Naru Festival, Ulsan Whale Festival, Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival, Jeongseon Arirang Festival, Jeju Fire Festival, Chungju World Martial Arts Festival Paju Booksori Festival, Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival, Haemieupseong Fortress Festival|
Photo courtesy of Gimje City Hall
Selected as one of the two 2014 Premier Festivals of Korea, the Gimje Horizon Festival offers visitors a chance to experience Korea’s agriculture as well as various traditional culture performances. The festival highlights the beautiful natural environment of Gimje and the rice produced in the region. The expansive fields of Gimje are fertile and offer suitable conditions for growing rice. Gimje is also the largest granary in Korea. During the festival period, visitors can experience catching grasshoppers, harvesting rice, and making scarecrows. The golden hues of the horizon also make for a wonderful view.
Dates: October 1, 2014 - October 5, 2014
Venue: Byeokgolje area (Buryang-myeon, Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do)
Photo courtesy of the Nara Foundation
Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is a unique wintertime celebration that draws over 1,000,000 visitors every year. To promote it as the nation’s largest and most popular winter festival, the organizers plan a variety of programs and fun activities. The most popular programs are ice fishing, ice football, and ice sledding.
Date: January 4, 2014 - January 26, 2014
Venue: Five villages including Hwacheon-eup in Gangwon-do
Photo courtesy of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
On the first full moon of the lunar calendar year, one of the many hills on Jeju Island is set ablaze to wish for a plentiful harvest. The festival originated from Jeju’s traditional farming custom of burning rice fields and vegetable gardens in early spring to exterminate pests and ease cultivation.
Date: March 7, 2014 – March 9, 2014
Venue: Saebyeol Oreum area (Bongseong-ri , Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do)
Photo courtesy of the Jindo-gun Festival Promotion Committee
Jindo’s sea-parting is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs every year. Korea’s famous sea parting reveals a 2.8-kilometer-long and 40-meter-wide path between the mainland and a nearby island. The Jindo Miracle Sea Festival is held when the tide differences are at their peak, rendering a natural stage for the festival’s great selection of events. The festival is gaining recognition from overseas travelers as many visitors flock to the quiet town of Jindo-gun every year during the festival period.
Date: March 30, 2014 - April 2, 2014
Venue: Modo-ri, Uisin-myeon and Hoedong-ri, Gogun-myeon (Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do)
*Recommended Tours of Jindo & Jodo Islands
Photo courtesy of the Daegaya Experience Festival Promotion Committee
The Goryeong Daegaya Experience Festival introduces and promotes Daegaya, an ancient kingdom known for its quality steel production around 1,500 years ago. The festival presents a range of hands-on programs focusing on the region's rich history and rural background. An exhibition of relics from the Daegaya era show the life and wisdom of the Daegaya people.
Date: April 10, 2014 - April 13, 2014
Venue: Daegaya Museum area (Goryeong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Suyeong-gu Festival Organizing Committee
Set amid the natural environment of Gwangalli Beach with the Gwangan Bridge as the backdrop, the Jwasuyeong Eobang Festival is a traditional folk festival highlighting the Suyeong area through a diverse set of programs and activities like the Jwasuyeong Eobang Nori*. The festival is spread out along Gwangalli Beach Theme Street, Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge and is Busan’s top spring festival. During the festival period, activities range from bare handed fishing, to fish-themed cooking contests and from free water-sports activities, to hands-on programs on the beach.
Dates: Postponed indefinitely
Venue: Gwangalli Beach area in Busan
* Jwasuyeong Eobang Nori: Jwasuyeong Eobang Nori is a folk game originating from the Suyeong area of Busan. It combines fish catching activities with the singing of traditional labor songs.
Photo courtesy of Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal Festival Organizing Committee
Mungyeong has long had a flourishing ceramics industry owing to an abundant supply of sandy soil and firewood. The Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal Festival offers visitors an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the unassuming beauty of chasabal (traditional tea bowls). Tea and pottery-related hands-on programs are facilitated by local potters of the Mungyeong region.
Date: April 30, 2014 - May 6, 2014
Venue: Mungyeongsaejae Provincial Park area (KBS filming location, Ceramics Museum Plaza) in Gyeongsangbuk-do
<Top Festival >
Photo courtesy of Damyang Bamboo Festival Organizing Committee
Damyang, Jeollanam-do, is known throughout Korea for its bamboo. The Damyang Bamboo Festival hosts a variety of hands-on activities such as bamboo drawing, traditional fishing with a bamboo basket, bamboo craft making, and many more. Visitors can also sample alcoholic beverages brewed in bamboo stalks and try dishes made with bamboo shoots.
Date: May 1, 2014 - May 6, 2014
Venue: Juknokwon and Gwanbangjerim Forest area (Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do)
*Recommended Travel in Damyang & Changpyeong
Photo courtesy of Yangnyeongsi Protection Committee
Daegu Yangnyeongsi is known for its rich history and traditional eastern medicine culture. Designated as an official Culture & Tourism Festival in 2001, the festival has since become a signature celebration that promotes traditional Korean medicine worldwide. Throughout the festival, visitors can learn the history of traditional Korean medicine and experience traditional medical treatments.
Venue: Yangnyeongsi area (Jung-gu, Daegu-si)
*Recommended Travel in Daegu Parks, Fashion, History, and Local Foods Daegu: A rainbow of diversity
*Experience Korean traditional medicine at the Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Festival
Photo courtesy of the Boseon Green Tea Festival Promotion Committee
The Boseong Green Tea Festival, the largest green tea festival in Korea, takes place in the Boseong Green Tea Plantations, a well-known filming location and tourist site. Visitors to the festival will get a chance to pick tea leaves, make and sample green tea, make green tea snacks, learn traditional tea drinking etiquette, and take part in a tea photo contest.
Date: May 2, 2014 – May 6, 2014
Venue: 775 Noksa-ro, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do
*Boseong Tea Plantations & Yulpo Seaside
Photo courtesy of the Chuncheon International Mime Festival
The Chuncheon International Mime Festival is a leading performance arts festival in Korea and its fame has now spread across the globe. Each year, renowned artists from home and abroad give outstanding live performances. On the weekends of the festival period, performances are held practically nonstop!
Date: May 25 - June 1, 2014
Venue: Festival Theater Momzit (531 Hyoja-dong, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do)
Photo courtesy of Muju County Office
The Muju Firefly Festival is an environment-themed event that celebrates fireflies, which are indigenous to Muju. Visitors to the festival will have a chance to participate in the night time exploration program to visit and observe the natural habitat of fireflies. A range of folk culture hands-on activities also take place during the festival period.
Date: June 7, 2014 – June 15, 2014
Venue: Hanpungnu Pavilion, Namdaecheon Stream, Bandiland area (Muju-eup, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Seocheon County Office
The Hansan Ramie Fabric Cultural Festival is held in Seoceong-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, a region famous for producing ramie, a flax-like plant whose fibers are used to weave cloth. Visitors can attend a fashion show featuring ramie fiber clothes, try on ramie clothing, or watch the creation of ramie fabric.
Date: June 6, 2014 – June 10, 2014
Venue: Hansan Mosi Fabric Hall area (Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do)
Photo courtesy of the Ulsan Whale Cultural Foundation
Ulsan, the center of Korea’s whale culture, is home to whale-related attractions such as the Bangudae Petroglyphs (rock drawings and carvings), a whale museum, and the Whales & Ocean Experience Center. The only one of its kind in Korea, the Ulsan Whale Festival features whale watching cruises and grand whale themed performances on the Taehwagang River.
Date: July 1, 2014 - July 3, 2014
Venue: Taehwagang River and Jangsaengpo area (Nam-gu, Ulsan-si)
Photo courtesy of Gangjin-gun Local Traditional Festival Promotion Committee
The Gangjin area in Jeollanam-do has long been known for its blue celadon production, which was made possible by advanced sea transportation as well as the right ingredients and conditions for celadon production such as local clay, fuel, water, and a favorable climate. The Gangjin Celadon Festival has gained acclaim among visitors for showcasing the excellence and uniqueness of Goryeo celadon.
Dates: July 26, 2014 - August 3, 2014
Venue: Goryeo Celadon Doyoji area (Daegu-myeon, Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do)
Photo courtesy of Buyeo County Office
Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival is held around Gungnamji Pond, an artificial pond constructed during the reign of King Muwang of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). A performance based on the love between Prince Seodong (King Muwang’s name in his youth) and Princess Seonhwa is the highlight of the festival. Events during the festival include face painting, lotus leaf tea sampling, lotus flower soap making, lotus flower photo and painting exhibitions, and a variety of performances.
Date: July 17, 2014 - July 20, 2014
Venue: Seodong Park (Gungnamji) area (Dongnam-ri, Buyeo-eup, Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do)
Photo courtesy of Pohang City Hall
Participants from many different countries visit Pohang to compete in the fireworks contest during the Pohang International Fireworks Festival. The fireworks create a brilliant spectacle against the summer sky at night. The festival also features a fireworks parade, a fireworks fashion show, musical light shows, live concerts on the beach, and a fireworks art exhibition.
Date: Late July, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Hyeongsangang River Sports Park, Bukbu Beach, Pohang Canal area (Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Bonghwa-gun County Office
Bonghwa Eun-eo (Sweet Fish) Festival takes place in Bonghwa, a well-preserved natural habitat surrounded by mountains, trees, clean water, and fresh air. Eun-eo, or sweet fish, only live near the source of clean and clear streams. Visitors can cool down while catching fish in Naeseongcheon Stream with their bare hands. In addition, visitors can engage in night fishing or indulge in some eun-eo barbeque.
Date: July 26, 2014 - August 2, 2014
Venue: Bonghwa-eup Sports Park, Naeseongcheon Stream area (Bonghwa-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Geochang International Festival of Theater
The Geochang International Festival of Theater is Korea’s top outdoor festival in the field of theatre. The annually hosted festival showcases diverse themed plays staged at Suseungdae in Geochang by a great number of noted theatre groups from Korea and abroad. While most of the performances take place at night, visitors can enjoy watching performances during the day in the refreshing waters of the valley at the Rainbow Theatre, which is Korea’s one and only floating theater stage.
Date: July 25 – August 10, 2014
Venue: Open-air theatre in Geochang Suseungdae area
Photo courtesy of Yescom ENT Co., Ltd. / Incheon Development and Tourism Corporation
The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival presents several different programs during the festival period including a Hallyu Concert, Fringe Festival, Music in Arts Festival, and the Rock Festival. The Pentaport Rock Festival, a three-day festival featuring international and local rock bands, has developed into an international event supported ardently by rock fans worldwide.
Date: August 1, 2014 – August 3, 2014
Venue: Songdo Geullin Park (근린공원), Songdo No. 23, Incheon
Photo courtesy of Mokpo City Hall
The Mokpo Maritime Cultural Festival is held in Mokpo, which is home to Yudalsan Mountain as well as Samhakdo Island that overlooks the west coast section of Dadohaehaesang National Park. This year’s festival features an on-the-sea fireworks show, a DJ party, a tour of Mokpo’s sea at night and a variety of hands-on events for unforgettable memories.
Dates: August 1, 2014 – August 5, 2014
Venue: Samhakdo area (Mokpo City, Jeollanam-do)
Photo courtesy of Jangheung-gun County Office
Jangheung County in Jeollanam-do is known for its water resources as it is located near the sea of Boseongman Bay and the lake created by the Tamjingang River and Jangheung Dam. Held at the end of July every year, the Jeongnamjin Water Festival is a departure from other festivals, which mainly feature exhibitions and performances, as it highlights summer and water through a variety of games and hands-on programs. A huge artificial pool is installed on the Tamjingang River for various water activities. Visitors can also enjoy rafting, water bicycles, riding a boat that moves along a cord across the river, and a variety of foods of the Namdo region as well as special products are available at the festival's local food market.
Dates: August 1, 2014 – August 7, 2014
Venue: Cypress woodland area, Tanjingang River (Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do)
Photo courtesy of the Great Battle of Hansan Memorial Association
Held in Tongyeong, the Great Battle of Hansan Festival commemorates the patriotic spirit of Admiral Yi Sun-shin, a Korean navy commander noted for leading victories against the invading Japanese Army during the Imjin War (1592-1598). The festival presents a variety of hands-on programs such as marine sports, geobukseon (turtle ship) making, bow making, and many more.
Date: Mid August, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Yi Sun-shin Park, Byeongseon Madang, Tongjeyeong area (Tongyeong City, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Photo courtesy of Chungju City Hall
With the theme of “where the world’s martial arts and culture meet,” the Chungju World Martial Arts Festival began in 1998 to globalize Taekkyon, a traditional martial art of Korea. Visitors can watch performances of traditional Korean martial arts as well as martial arts of other countries. Traditional martial arts groups demonstrate Taekkyon, Taekwondo, and Hapkido, and offer programs for visitors to learn martial arts. There are hands-on programs for tourists and visitors can watch demonstrations by martial arts groups from Japan, China, New Zealand and France.Dates: August 28, 2014 – September 1, 2014
Photo courtesy of Geosan-gun County Office
Goesan in Chungcheongbuk-do is famous for red pepper cultivation. The Goesan Red Pepper Festival features various red pepper related events such as an exhibition of red peppers from around the world, red pepper cutting and eating contests, traditional dish sampling, and a cooking competition. A range of celebratory performances and folk games are also scheduled for the festival.
Date: August 28, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Venue: Sports Fields, Culture and Sports Center, and Dongjincheon Stream areas (Goesan-eup, Goesan-gun, Chungcheonbuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Lee Hyo-seok Literature Enhancement Association
The Hyoseok Cultural Festival takes place in Pyeongchang, the setting for Lee Hyo-seok’s famous novel, “When Buckwheat Flowers Come into Full Bloom.” The festival highlights different locations depicted in the novel as well as the area’s folklore. The festival is held at the most splendid time of the year when the buckwheat flowers blanket the entire Bongpyeong area. Don’t miss the wide range of foods made from buckwheat, exciting programs, and the vast plain of buckwheat flowers.
Date: Early September, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Bongpyeong-myeon Munhwa (Culture) Village area (Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do)
Photo courtesy of the Suwon Cultural Foundation
The Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival, which is held every October, is a landmark celebration for the city of Suwon. The festival presents a range of programs and performances, including reenactments of the royal life at Hwaseong Fortress as well as the everyday life of ordinary people under the reign of King Jeongjo the Great (reigned 1776-1800). Visitors may also enjoy many other exciting festivities such as family events and a program titled “Welcoming King Jeongjo the Great.”
Date: October 8, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Photo courtesy of the Jeongseon Arirang Festival Organizing Committee
The Jeongseon Arirang Festival is organized to preserve and pass down the traditional Jeongseon Arirang song. Visitors can have a unique experience and a lot of fun attending a recreation of an Arari raft, learning the Jeongseon Arirang song and its rhythm, and making and sampling potato pancakes and buckwheat pancakes. At the Jeongseon traditional marketplace, visitors can get a sense of rural Korean life and feel the energy of the market. The market is held during the festival period and it offers local agricultural products and food at reasonable prices.
Dates: October 9, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Public sports ground and Joyanggang Riverside area (Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do)
Photo courtesy of Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival Committee
The Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival is a perfect destination for urbanites looking for a healthier way of life. Visitors can learn about herbs that can be raised at home for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Date: October 2, 2014 – October 9, 2014
Venue: Festival Plaza at the Sancheong IC entrance and Donguibogam Village area (Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Photo courtesy of 7080 Chungjang Recollection Festival Promotion Committee
During the 1970s and 80s, young people in the city of Gwangju reveled in their youth and created their own culture on Chungjang-ro Street. The 7080 Chungjang Recollection Festival is a cultural celebration that epitomizes the spirit of the youth and the good old days of the 70s and 80s when everything prospered. A wide range of events take place during the festival period including a street parade by the locals, an exhibition reenacting the life of the 1970s and 80s, traditional games, local dish sampling, a folk song festival, intangible cultural asset performances, and street performances.
Date: October 8, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Chungjang-ro, Geumnam-ro, Hwanggeum-ro, Underpass, Art St. and nearby areas (Dong-gu, Gwangju-si)
Photo courtesy of Ganggyeong Fermented Seafood Festival Promotion Committee
The city of Ganggyeong produces half of all fermented seafood produced in the country. It is here that the Fermented Seafood Festival is held to offer visitors fresh and tasty fermented seafood at prices 30~40% cheaper than most other parts of the country. In fact, prices remain relatively low enough to attract visitors all year around.
Date: October 15, 2014 – October 19, 2014
Venue: Ganggyeongpogu Port, Fermented Seafood Market and Fermented Seafood Exhibition Hall area (Ganggyeong-eup, Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do)
Photo courtesy of Gagopa Chrysanthemum Festival Committee
Masan was the first district in Korea to cultivate chrysanthemums locally and also the first to export them to Japan. The Gagopa Chrysanthemum Festival, held annually since 2000, presents spectacles such as a grand flower gate at the festival entrance, a flower hill made of 5,000 chrysanthemums, and a flower tower decorated with the festival’s mascots.
Date: Late October, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Masanhang Port, Wharf 1 area (Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Photo courtesy of Icheon Rice Cultural Festival Promotion Committee
Since the ancient times, Icheon’s expansive open fields have offered perfect conditions for growing rice. As such, it has long been one of the major rice producers in Korea, and continues to produce top-quality rice. The Icheon Rice Cultural Festival, combining two of Icheon’s symbols, rice and agriculture, is held in late October to celebrate the year of good harvest.
Date: October 22, 2014 – October 26, 2014
Venue: Seolbong Park (Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do)
The annual Jarasum International Jazz Festival is held in early fall on Jaraseom Island in Gapyeong. As an island formed on the Bukhangang River, Jaraseom Island offers various attractions such as riverside promenades, sports facilities, and natural recreational forests. The jazz festival attracts over 100,000 visitors from home and abroad every year. Visitors to the festival can enjoy the smooth jazz tunes and also get a chance to meet some of the world’s leading jazz musicians.
Date: October 3, 2014 – October 5, 2014
Venue: Jaraseom Island (Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do)
The Paju Booksori Festival is a book-themed event, which is held as part of efforts to render Paju Book City a place for enjoying book culture. The festival provides a wide range of publication-related information for those involved in the publishing. It also offers career mentoring programs for those hoping to enter the publishing business. Many of Korea’s major publishers are located in Paju Book City, where the festival takes place.
Date: October 3, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Paju Book City area (Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do)
Photo courtesy of the Culture & Public Information Division of Dongnae-gu, Busan
The Dongnaeeupseong History Festival is an experiential festival that offers a historical insight into the life in the area during the Japanese Invasion of Korea (1592-1598). The festival is based on the historical facts relating to the town’s efforts to defend the Dongnae Fortress in resistance against the Japanese forces. The festival features a variety of hands-on experience programs including juldarigi (tug-of-war), in which thousands of people can take part at once, a reenactment of the ancient marketplace, traditional folk performances, jultagi (tightrope walking) performance, and many more.
Date: October 10, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Dongnae Community Center, Dongnaeeupseong North Gate Plaza, and Oncheonjang areas (Dongnae-gu, Busan)
Photo courtesy of Haemieupseong Fortress Festival
The Haemieupseong Fortress Festival takes place in the city of Seosan, the central city of history and culture in Korea’s west coast. Haemieupseong Fortress is a great place to learn about Korea’s historical past because of the many cultural heritage items that can be found at the site. The festival provides a wide array of cultural events and history-related programs.
Date: October 9, 2014 – October 12, 2014
Venue: Haemieupseong Fortress area (Eupnae-ri, Haemi-myeong, Seosan-si, Chungcheongnam-do)
Photo courtesy of Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival
The Songpa area in Seoul was the ancient capital of the Baekje Kingdom for 500 years during the Hanseong Baekje Era (18 BC to 475 AD) around 2,000 years ago. Songpa is also home to a number of time-honored historic and cultural heritage sites, including Pungnaptoseong Fortress and Mongchontoseong Fortress. The festival offers visitors a glimpse into the ancient history and culture of the Hanseong Baekje Period that brilliantly flourished based on a strong national power.
Date: October 2 – October 5, 2014
Venue: Olympic Park area, Wiryeseong-daero, Pungnapgeyongdang History Park, etc. (Songpa-gu, Seoul)
Photo courtesy of Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival Promotion Committee
Sunchang, a village famous for its citizens’ longevity and for the production of red-pepper paste, holds the Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival every year. The fermented Sunchang red-pepper paste has recently been recognized for its excellent health benefits. Traditional outdoor performances, percussion performances, and Sunchang red-pepper paste making will take place, as well as a local specialty fair and a Sunchang red-pepper cooking competition.
Date: November, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Sunchang Gochujang Village and Gangcheonsan Mountain (Sunchang-gun, Jeollabuk-do)
Photo courtesy of Yeoju Ogok Naru Festival Organizing Committee
The Yeoju Ogok Naru Festival is a combination of two festivals: the Yeoju Farm Festival and the Sweet Potato Festival, based on Yeoju’s representative products, rice and sweet potato, respectively. Visitors to the festival can find Yeoju’s quality agricultural and local specialty products and enjoy participating in a wide range of fun, informative programs.
Date: Early November, 2014 (planned)
Venue: Yeoju-gun area, Gyeonggi-do (planned)
* Festival schedules are subject to change.
* Last updated on March 7, 2014