From Korea with Love

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Seoul Lantern Festival

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I was skimming through some photos in my camera and found a lot of pictures from last year’s Seoul Lantern Festival which my husband and I came to see before we went to the Philippines in November. I was going to talk about the festival and share the photos in my blog, but I suffered from “temporary amnesia” as a result of my preoccupation with our business in the PI. Now I’m back in Korea, back to sanity, back to blogging… but I miss my Mom and the family back home. I can’t wait to see them again this summer.

Before “temporary amnesia” strikes again, here are the photos from last year’s Seoul Lantern Festival. This post is rather late, but the festival is held annually, so if you haven’t been to one, these pictures will give you an idea of what you can expect to see if you plan to witness the festivity.

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z3z4z5During the festival, hundreds of resplendent lanterns, made by international and local artists, are lit and displayed on Cheonggyecheon Stream. The colorful lanterns represent a different story each year. Last year, the theme, entitled “Haensong Baekje: Dream of a Thousand Years, focused on the 700-year-history of Baekje.

cfgz14z16ijSeoul Lantern Festival began in 2009. Since then, it has attracted a lot of tourists and locals. When my husband and I went to the festival, it was the last night the lanterns were going to be on display. We weren’t expecting many people, but even on the last day of the exhibit, the place was teeming with sightseers.

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The beautifully handcrafted lanterns are made from hanji or the traditional handmade “paper of Korea”. The main material for making hanji is the thread-like skin of the inner bark of the mulberry.

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h2hThere were lanterns from other countries, too, like Taiwan and the Philippines.

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I was thrilled to see a giant Christmas tree from Pampanga, my hometown. Many visitors flocked the 6.3 meter-tall Philippine-made Christmas tree to take a photo. Two hundred vibrant capiz or windowpane oyster shell lanterns were put together to make the outstanding tree. z19z21z18

Although it was windy and chilly, my husband and I enjoyed the long walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream.

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ez171Anywhere we set our eyes upon, there was a uniquely designed piece of art with a story to tell. Beside each lantern was a brief description that can be read in Korean and English. We were being reminded to move in haste from time to time, because of the throng of people behind us, so I couldn’t read all the descriptions, but lucky for me, I had my husband to explain what some of the lanterns are or what they represent.

An ornament attached to the nobility's crown

An ornament attached to the nobility’s crown

An ornament attached to crown

A pair of shoes

A pair of royal shoes

(This one escapes me.)

(This one escapes me.)

A helmet

A helmet

A hilt (sword handle)

A hilt (sword handle)

Besides the giant Christmas tree from my country, my other favorites are the lanterns of women holding traditional musical instruments.

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If you would like to see this year’s Seoul Lantern Festival, you can visit their website to check the dates and other activities lined up for the whole festivity period.

The easiest way to get to the venue is by subway:

Subway Line 5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit ⑤ (walk 3 minutes)
Subway Line 1, Jonggak Station Exit ⑤ (walk 3 minutes)
Subway Line 2, Euljiro 1-ga Station Exits ②,③ (walk 6 minutes)

You can get detailed directions by clicking this link. Admission is free. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you! ^^

2 thoughts on “Seoul Lantern Festival

  1. Amazing photos. Giant Christmas Tree is the best!
    Thank you for sharing! This looks so much more interesting than I had expected it to be!
    I’ve never seen it, but I’m so putting that on the calendar now!
    Also,I suggest that you also try the Mud Festival in Boryeong City.
    It’s a whole lot of fun to be there! http://www.gonomad.com/5645

    Like

  2. Truly outstanding. Thank you for sharing these photos. I posted the link on my FB home page and within my Korea-krazy group. I know you are so busy, but I would like to personally invite yo to join our “secret” group. Please email me. We’d love to have you join our drama, kpop and culture conversations. Amy

    Liked by 1 person

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