Chrysanthemums Color Masan

Last Friday I happened upon the Gagopa Chrysanthemum Festival in Masan in Gyeongsangnam-do. Jae-oo had a concert down there and my family hadn’t seen him play yet, which is how I happened upon this festival without knowing it was going on. Pulling into the area you could see huge balloons floating in the sky above, a tell-tale sign of a festival going. The stage set for the Changwon Interactive Music Festival was just a part of the festival. The Music Festival was set to bring the likes of Every Single Day, The Kim Chang-won Band, W&whale, Idiotape, Telepathy, and Goodbye Sea among others over the weekend. While the bands were sound checking and we had a chance to flit around off we went to check out the colorful scenery.

Masan, a port city on the south coast, is an excellent area for growing chrysanthemums because of its mild weather. At this time of year, Masan port is in bloom with 500,000 chrysanthemum plants. This festival will run until November 6 so there is still one more weekend to take advantage of all of the blooms in one place. This area has been producing these chrysanthemums since 1960 and accounts for 13% of the sales of chrysanthemums in Korea, according to their site.

Programs include an exhibition of more than 10,000 chrysanthemum products from 200 species, a singing contest, a photography competition and performances of traditional folk games and events. Visitors may also taste food and tea made with chrysanthemum flowers. We partook in the mask making tent since we had an hour to spare and got ourselves all made up to enjoy the concert.

The flowers were gorgeous and if we hadn’t seated ourselves to make masks I would have enjoyed some more of the flower exhibits. But as it was, the flowers were beautiful, the masks turned out well and the concert ended the night on a high note. I’m glad we happened upon the colorful flowers for a few hours as I usually have to sit on the side and occupy myself when the band is soundchecking. One more weekend to enjoy the colors and the blooms in this beautiful fall weather if you’re down south.

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