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Guide to Spring Festivals (March – May)

Posted by Milliwayz(ip:)

Date 2020-03-24

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Jinhae Gunhangje Festival

By March, a change can be felt in the air. The cold subsides and plants begin to awaken and bloom, creating a sweet scent that can only be described as spring. The word itself brings a sense of energy and movement to break through the chill of winter. In Korea, a wide array of events celebrating the season can be found throughout the country. The return of the warmer weather gives families a chance to spend time together through all the various outdoor activities. Read on for the list of festivals celebrating the lovely spring atmosphere in Korea.

The beauty of spring in bloom

From the beginning of March when the air is still cool, spring announces its arrival in Korea with a blanket of white and yellow blossoms spread across the nation. The warmer season sees a host of festivals take place in Korea where visitors can stroll among the blossoming spring flowers and see the country at its finest.

Gurye Sansuyu Festival

Gurye Sansuyu Festival (Credit: Gurye-gun Office)
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: Area of Jirisan Hot Springs Resort, Sandong-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 산동면 지리산온천관광단지 일원)

Taking place in the hot springs resort area of Jirisan Mountain, visitors to Gurye Sansuyu Festival can enjoy a vibrant taste of spring with the yellow sansuyu (cornelian cherry) flowers. The festival theme is “Finding Everlasting Love” and the schedule includes performances and fireworks, as well as hands-on experiences. Don’t forget to try the foods and drinks made with sansuyu.

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival (Credit: Jeju Tourism Organization)
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: Jeonnong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do / Jangjeon-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
    (제주특별자치도 제주시 전농로 / 제주특별자치도 제주시 애월읍 장전리)

The Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is where the nation’s first cherry blossoms can be seen. The festival features a cherry blossom photo zone as well as various programs. In addition, the festival can be enjoyed fully day or night with the use of a vast lighting system. During the festival period, Jeonnong-ro Street is closed to all vehicular traffic so everyone can safely enjoy the blossoms.

Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival

Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: 58, Ssanggye-ro, Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 하동군 화개면 쌍계로 58)
  • Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival is held around Hwagae Market, a traditional open-air market situated on the border between Hadong in Gyeongsangnam-do and Gurye in Jeollanam-do. In particular, the cherry blossom trees along the 6-kilometer road from the market to Ssanggyesa Temple are a fantastic sight to behold. It is believed that if a couple walks down this road holding hands, they will grow old together in an everlasting relationship. For this reason, the road is sometimes referred to the “wedding road.”

Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival
  • Period: TBD according to bloom forecast
  • Venue: Area of Yeouiseo-ro (behind the National Assembly Building), Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 영등포구 여의서로)

The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is a representative festival in Seoul, taking place every April. Yeouiseo-ro, the street behind the National Assembly Building, is lined with cherry blossom trees and is the most famous cherry blossom street in Seoul. Visitors can take a stroll along the Hangang River through a tunnel of these majestic trees. Other spring flowers blooming beneath the trees include azaleas and forsythias. There are also cultural street performances, a flower decoration exhibit, and a photo exhibit taking place throughout the festival period.

Jinhae Gunhangje Festival

Gyeonghwa Station during Jinhae Gunhangje Festival
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: Area of Jungwon Rotary, Tongsin-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 창원시 진해구 통신동 중원로터리)

Taking place in April, Jinhae Gunhangje Festival draws in more than 2 million tourists every year. The many cherry blossom trees create fantastic tunnels to walk through. The cherry blossom petals falling down like pink snow will transport you to a dream-like world! There are various events not to be missed, such as the Jinhae International Military Band & Honor Guard Festival and fireworks show.

Icheon Baeksa Sansuyu Flower Festival

Icheon Baeksa Sansuyu Flower Festival (Credit: Icheon-si Office)
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: 17, Wonjeok-ro 775beon-gil, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 이천시 백사면 원적로 775번길 17)

Home to 100-year-old, wild sansuyu trees, the Icheon Baeksa Sansuyu Blossom Festival venue is a leading production area of sansuyu trees in Korea. In spring, the sansuyu flowers are in full bloom to decorate the whole village in yellow while in autumn, the red fruit signals the changing of the season. The trees here were said to have originated from scholars who planted them long ago, earning the nickname “Scholar’s Flowers.” During the festival period, a variety of performances and cornus fruit-related hands-on programs are offered to all visitors.

Jecheon Cheongpungho Cherry Blossom Festival

Jecheon Cheongpungho Cherry Blossom Festival (Credit: Jecheon Culture & Tourism Department)
  • Period: TBD
  • Venue: 2048, Cheongpungho-ro, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do (충청북도 제천시 청풍면 청풍호로 2048)
  • Jecheon Cheongpungho Cherry Blossom Festivaltakes place along Cheongpungho lakeside, where thousands of mature cherry blossom trees stand tall and proud. Various shows and performances are scheduled, including a cherry blossom street concert and a dance parade. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs from the flea market that takes place during the festival period. Nearby attractions include the Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex and a bungee jumping site.

Taean International Tulip Festival

Taean International Tulip Festival
  • Period: April 14 - May 11, 2020
  • Venue: 400, Kkotjihaean-ro, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 태안군 안면읍 꽃지해안로 400)
  • Selected as one of the world's top five tulip festivals,Taean International Tulip Festival showcases tulips, lupine, foxglove, lilies and other advanced breeds of spring flowers. This year’s festival theme is Disney animation, and will feature some of the largest and most expensive tulip species in the world. Additional festival activities include feeding animals, face painting, and caricature drawings.

Mouthwatering food festival

Food is a reflection of a nation's culture, and spring is the perfect season to taste great foods in Korea. Some local delicacies, such as seafood caught in coastal regions, are only available in spring.

Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival

Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival (Credit: Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival Promotion Committee)
  • Period: Postponed indefinitely
  • Venue: Area of Haeparang Park & Gangguhang Port, Yeongdeok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 영덕군 강구면 강구항)

Yeongdeok has long been known for its abundance of snow crabs. During the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), the region presented snow crabs as a tribute to the king. Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival is held at Gangguhang Port and event programs include a street parade, snow crab tasting, product auctions, a singing contest, and more.

Festivals filled with culture and arts

Koreans treasure their long history and rich cultural heritage. The season of spring brings an array of festivals to celebrate Korean culture and ensure it is passed down to future generations. The festivals cover diverse genres, and visitors to these attractions can make use of the opportunities to both watch and participate in the living culture on display at these festivals.

Jeju Fire Festival

Jeju Fire Festival
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: San59-8, Bongseong-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do (제주특별자치도 제주시 애월읍 봉성리 산59-8)

The Jeju Fire Festival is a traditional field-burning ceremony to pray for health and a good harvest in the coming year. The festival offers programs of various genres for all visitors to actively experience and learn about Jeju’s traditional culture.

Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival

Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival (Credit: Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival Organizing Committee)
  • Period:April 2-5, 2020
  • Venue: 440, Wangin-ro, Yeongam-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 영암군 군서면 왕인로 440)
  • Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival celebrates the achievements of Korea's Dr. Wangin, who traveled to Japan during the Baekje era to spread knowledge, culture and art. The festival takes place in April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Among the many traditional performances and activities to participate in, the highlight of the festival is the street parade, open to all visitors and citizens alike to walk in.

Goryeong Daegaya Festival

Goryeong Daegaya Festival (Credit: Goryeong Tourism Association)
  • Period: Cancelled for 2020
  • Venue: 1216, Daegaya-ro, Goryeong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 고령군 대가야읍 대가야로1216)

Goryeong Daegaya Festival gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the ancient kingdom of Daegaya (42-562). The festival offers a wide range of activities, including arts and crafts programs like pottery-making. Visitors can also experience the lifestyle of the era through a replica village from the Daegaya Kingdom.

Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival)

Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival)
  • Period: April 24-26, 2020
  • Venue: 55, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 우정국로55)
  • Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) is held annually on Buddha's Birthday (eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar). Events are held at Buddhist temples in several districts across Seoul. Major events include an exhibition of traditional lanterns and a lantern parade for a festival that will last in one’s memories for a long time to come.

Mungyeong Chasabal Festival

Mungyeong Chasabal Festival
  • Period: Postponed indefinitely
  • Venue: 2416, Mungyeong-daero, Mungyeong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 문경시 문경읍 문경대로 2416)

The Mungyeong Chasabal Festival aims to improve the regional culture and promote Mungyeong ceramics as a national brand. Beautifully nestled at the foot of the Baekdudaegan mountain range, Mungyeong abounds with the sandy soil and firewood needed to produce fine ceramic goods, such as traditional tea cups. Festival programs include pottery-making experiences led by local artisans.

Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Festival

Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Festival (Credit: Daegu Yangneongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine)
  • Period: May 1–5, 2020
  • Venue: 51-1, Namseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu (대구광역시 중구 남성로 51-1)
  • Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Market has a long history of culture and tradition. The Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Festival is a representative herbal medicine festival throughout Asia, featuring the use of traditional and medicinal herbs to cure illnesses. Visitors to the festival can enjoy both a historical attraction and a remarkable opportunity to experience the traditional medicine culture.

Boseong Green Tea Festival

Boseong Green Tea Festival
  • Period: TBD
  • Venue: 775, Nokcha-ro, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 775)
  • Boseong is the largest producer of green tea in the country, and the tea fields create beautiful landscapes that often appear in Korean dramas. At Boseong Green Tea Festival, some of the most popular festival events are the hands-on experience programs like picking tea leaves, making tea, and sampling green tea snacks. Other events include learning traditional tea ceremony culture and an exhibition of submitted photographs.

Chuncheon Mime Festival

Chuncheon Mime Festival (Credit: Chuncheon Mime Festival Organizing Committee)
  • Period: May 24-31, 2020
  • Venue: 112, Chuncheon-ro, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do (강원도 춘천시 춘천로 112)
  • As one of the leading performing arts festivals in Korea, the Chuncheon Mime Festival has steadily gained international recognition. The festival showcases various genres of performances by mime groups and artists from Korea and overseas, including mime, music, dance, installation art, and short films. Some programs to look forward to are the Bubble Road and Coloring Road.

Other festivals

After months of cold weather, your body can begin to feel stiff. Help break the ice and get your body moving through these active festivals and fantastic events.

Seoul International Marathon

Seoul International Marathon (Credit: Seoul International Marathon Office)
  • Period: March 22, 2020
  • Venue (Full course):  Gwanghwamun Square, 172, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 세종대로 172) to Seoul Sports Complex, 25, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 송파구 올림픽로 25)

The Seoul International Marathon attracts participants from all over the world each year. The full 42.2-kilometer course crosses the heart of the city, from Gwanghwamun Square, along Cheonggyecheon Stream, to the Olympic Stadium at Seoul Sports Complex. The full course can also be run in a relay style, with groups of two or four people taking different sections. The marathon also includes a separate 10-kilometer marathon starting from Olympic Park and running all the way to Seoul Sports Complex.

Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival

Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival
  • Period:April 8-11, 2020
  • Venue: Areas of Modo-ri & Hoedong-ri, Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 진도군 고군면 회동리 및 의신면 모도리 일원)

Due to a unique build-up of pebbles and silt, during the lowest point of the ebb tide, a 3-kilometer long pathway appears in the seabed between Modo Island and Jindo Island at Hoedong-ri. This sea parting phenomenon is well known both domestically and internationally, drawing in visitors during the Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival period to see this miraculous sight. This miracle path can only be seen for one hour a day. While waiting for the tide to ebb, visitors can take part in a diversity of cultural and hands-on programs.

Damyang Bamboo Festival

Damyang Bamboo Festival (Credit: Damyang Bamboo Festival Committee)
  • Period: April 30 – May 5, 2020
  • Venue: 119, Jungnogwon-ro, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 담양군 담양읍 죽녹원로 119)

Located within a vast bamboo forest, the Damyang Bamboo Festivalis full of activities celebrating the beauty and function of the bamboo plant. Diverse event programs and hands-on activities are part of the festival. Enjoy the fresh air and atmosphere by taking a walk in the bamboo forest. After working up an appetite, visitors can enjoy some famous local cuisine, like rice cooked in a bamboo stalk.

* Festival dates and schedules are subject to change.

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