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Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013 - The Melting Pot of Past, Present and Future

Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013 The Melting Pot of Past, Present and Future

Every year, the fascinating world of Goryeo Dynasty celadon unfolds at the Goryeo celadon kiln sites in Gangjin-gun District of Jeollanam-do Province. With paintings of flying cranes, beautiful curves and blue colors, Goryeo celadon has long been celebrated as a symbol of beauty and craftsmanship in Korean ceramics. This year, the 41st Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013 will take place from July 27 through August 4.

Gangjin is called the ‘home of celadon’ as it not only produced thousands of celadon for nearly 600 years in the 9th-14th centuries, but also invented Sanggam* Cheongja, which is considered the finest example of Goryeo celadon. Today, 80% of celadon designated as national treasures and valuables comes from Gangjin.
* Sanggam: The method of engraving the surface of ceramics or wood with intricate patterns, and inlaying them with gold or silver materials.

사진설명Streamlet / Vine Tunnel
Celadon Pond / Shaded Area

The Gangjin Celadon Festival venue is equipped with special facilities built for the convenience and enjoyment of visitors. First, there is a stream formed by drawing water that runs through the Jeongsusa Valley, a popular resting spot for Goryeo Dynasty potters. Second, there is a vine tunnel, shaded tent area, and fountain. Next, the Celadon Museum holds daily celadon workshops where visitors can learn the Sanggam Cheongja method, daily uses of celadon, and celadon production.

Moreover, the festival offers diverse participatory programs, including celadon pattern printing (on hanji paper), t-shirt painting, and mosaic making using broken celadon pieces. The most popular program, however, is making pottery with the help of a professional potter.

Recommended Programs


Pottery is the most popular program among festival visitors. Spin the wheel, and make a cup, jar, flower vase or anything you desire with the help of a trained potter. Then, add decorations and inscribe your name. Leave the pottery to dry for 2-3 hours before taking it home.
* Fee: 5,000 won per person

Celadon Mosaic

Glue broken celadon pieces onto a paper plate in the shape of a celadon. Use a hammer provided at the site to break the pieces into even smaller pieces.
* Fee: 3,000 won

T-Shirt Painting

Place celadon pattern stickers on a white T-shirt. Paint inside or outside the stickers using a small brush. Take the stickers off, and you have a T-shirt with colorful celadon patterns.
* Fee: 3,000 won

Fingernail Dyeing

Put a little bit of crushed garden balsam mixture on each fingernail, and wrap your fingernails tight with plastic wrap. After 2-3 hours, open the wraps to see your fingernails dyed scarlet. There is a belief that if the fingernails retain the color by the first snow fall, your first love will come true.
* Fee: None (Free of charge)

Celadon Pattern Printing

Choose a celadon pattern block, and apply black ink on the pattern using a sponge. Then, press the block on a piece of hanji paper, and gently rub the surface of the paper. Write your name and date on the same paper before laminating it to take home.
* Fee: 1,000 won

Permanent Exhibition

Gangjin Celadon Museum

Highlighting the beauty of Goryeo celadon, the Gangjin Celadon Museum holds approximately 30,000 artifacts, including 100 pieces of original, intact celadon. In addition, the museum’s library and exhibition hall have audio materials and visual displays that show the history, production methods, and other distinct features of Goryeo celadon.

☞ Click for more on Gangjin Celadon Museum

Nearby Tourist Sites

Dasan Chodang (Exile House of Dasan)

Dasan Chodang is where Dasan*, a silhak (practical learning) scholar of the Joseon Dynasty, was exiled. Here, Dasan compiled his thoughts on silhak, and published about 500 books, including Mokminsimseo (Guidelines for Local Governors).

* Dasan is the pen name of Jeong Yak-yong (1762-1836). He gave himself the pen name, which was also the name of a mountain he lived in during his exile.

☞ More on Dasan Chodang

Birthplace of Yeongrang

Kim Yeong-rang (1903-1950) was a leading lyric poet most well-known for the poem titled “Till the Peony Blooms”. Before moving to Seoul with his family in September 1948, Kim had lived in this house for 45 years. Today, only the bonchae (main building) and sarangchae (guests’ quarters) remain. In the courtyard, there is a grove of peonies that bloom every May, creating a beautiful scene.

☞ More on the Birthplace of Yeongrang

Maryang Port

Located at the tip of Gangjinman Bay, Maryang Port was once the main port of Gangjin-gun County and a pit stop for horses shipped from Jeju Island. Thanks to the seafood restaurants nearby, the port remains a popular destination for tourists seeking fresh fish.

☞ More on Maryang Port

Recommended Food

# Hanjeongsik

Of many culinary delights in Jeollanam-do Province, one of the most popular is the Gangjin hanjeongsik or Korean table d’hote. Hanjeongsik includes more than 30 types of side dishes made with seasonal ingredients harvested from the nearby fields and sea. Moreover, most hangjeongsik restaurants serve their dishes on celadon plates for both presentation and flavor.

# Tohajeot

Tohas are small freshwater shrimps found in rivers or reservoirs. They are also served at most local restaurants. It has a slight smell of soil, and is usually eaten with garlic, paper, garlic, sesame seed, as well as other ingredients.

# Mudskipper Hop Pot

Mudskippers are fish found in wetlands and feed on plankton. Thanks to their habit of living in the sun, they do not smell, and, therefore, are easy to eat. A Mudskipper Hot Pot is a dish made with ground mudskippers, doenjang (soybean paste), outer cabbage leaves, perilla seeds, onions, garlic, scallions, and other ingredients.

<More Info>
Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013

☞ Period:
July 27 - August 4, 2013
☞ Venue:
Gangjin Goryeo Celadon Kiln Site
☞ Homepage: (Korean)
☞ Gangjin-gun County Office Homepage: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Gangjin Culture & Tourism Homepage: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Transportation
* High-Speed Rail (Korea Express Train / KTX)
Seoul Station >> Mokpo Station (Schedule: 8 times daily / Estimated travel time: 3 hours 10 minutes)
Seoul Station >> Naju Station (Schedule: 4 times daily / Estimated travel time: 3 hours) From either Mokpo or Naju Station, take a bus or a rental car to the festival venue

* Getting to Gangjin from Mokpo Station
(By intercity bus)
After arriving at Mokpo Station, take bus 1, 1-1, or 1-2 from the bus stop in front of the station (travel time: 20 minutes) or take a taxi (Travel time: 10 minutes) to Mokpo Bus Terminal → From the bus terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Gangjin (first bus at 06:15 / last bus at 20:30 / Travel time: 1 hour / fare: 5,100 won) / +82-1544-6886 (Korean)
(By rental car)
After arriving at Mokpo Station, the KT Kumho Rent-a-car Mokpo branch is directly to your right upon exiting the station. (Note the ▶ Car Rental information below).

* Getting to Gangjin from Naju Station
(By express bus)
After arriving at Naju Station, take bus 160, 100, or 101 from the bus stop in front of the station (travel time: 15 minutes) or take a taxi (travel time: 10 minutes) to Naju Intercity Bus Terminal → Take an express bus bound for Gangjin (first bus at 05:20 / last bus at 22:35 / travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes / fare: 6,100 won) / +82-61-333-3226 (Korean)
(There is no KT Kumho Rent-a-car branch at Naju Station.)

* Air
Gimpo Airport >> Gwangju Airport (Estimated travel time: 50 minutes)
From Gwangju Airport, rent a car and drive to the festival venue (Estimated travel time: 2 hours)

▶ Car Rental (KT Kumho)
Homepage: (English)
Inquiries: +82-1588-1230 (Korean, English)
* Gwangju Airport Branch
Address: Gwangju Metropolitan City, Gwangsan-gu, Sinchon-dong, Gwangju Airport (1F)
Telephone: +82-62-955-8000 (Korean)
* Required documents: International driver’s license, passport, address in Korea, credit card (cash not accepted)

* Express Bus
Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Honamseon line) -> Gangjin Bus Terminal (Schedule: 6 times daily / Estimated travel time: 5 hours)
From Gangjin Bus Terminal, take a taxi to the festival venue (Estimated travel time: 15-20 minutes)
☞ Accommodation:
☞ Nearby Attractions
Baengnyeonsa Temple, Muwisa Temple, Gangjin Dawon Green Tea Field, Jeolla Byeongyeongseong Fortress, etc.

* Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization

Last updated on July 8, 2013

Date 07/24/2013

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