Santas in Hongdae… Again

Santacon took over the streets of Hongdae for its fourth straight year this past weekend and spirits were high. There didn’t seem to be nearly the amount of Santas as there were last year but easily 200 good intentioned people attended. The night started officially at 7 o’clock with arrival at Beer O’clock in Sinchon. While the Santas amassed nearby onlookers took out their gadgets and gizmos to document the arrival. Assembling this many people dressed in Santa suits is surprising in most places but especially in Korea where Christmas isn’t celebrated as it is in the west and thusly Koreans were left smiling and pointing with their camera phones to tell other people of what they were witnessing.

After enough Santas had assembled around 7:30 PM the loudspeaker carrying Santa directed people to head to the subway station where we would ride only one stop to Hongik University station. Most transit card carrying Santas went right on to the platform to wait, but as there were some Santas who had to purchase their tickets to board the loudspeaker carrying Santa advised everyone to wait while two trains passed. That was enough time to get everyone into a jolly mood by singing Christmas Carols to the delight of those Korean onlookers around us. By the time the third train stopped we all piled onto the train for a short ride one stop away. More onlookers with phones with cameras to document our movements and we said our Merry Christmases as we departed.

Outside the station there seemed to be some confusion as to the next destination and my friend said it was Ho Bar 3, same as it was last year so we got our group and a few more to the place. With at least seven Ho Bars in the vicinity it could be confusing. It seems though, after checking the event webpage, there was some sort of photo-op at a nearby square that was to be attended before Ho Bar, which would explain why half of the group seemed to go missing for a half hour. But we ended up together again in Ho Bar 3 on the main thoroughfare to Hongik University.

After enough fun and jolly drinks were had the Santas headed to the park but not before they took the opportunity to dance in the street giving a good show to the pedestrians around on the crosswalk between Ho Bar 3 and Kookmin Bank. The reactions of onlookers is, I’m sure, a top reason to attend an event such as this, as they stare and gawk with cameras ready. But not only is it a chance to put on a show, it’s a chance to meet others that probably celebrate Christmas in a style more similar to yours than you might find in Korea and really ring in the holiday season. There may not be Christmas lights strung up on every window or Christmas trees lit up in every square, but Santa Claus has come to town. The night seemed to be a jovial Santacan success.

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