Summer is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean that all of the festival fun and madness is over. There are still plenty of festivals across the peninsula to attend and enjoy. Get ready for crisp breezes, colorful leaves and plan ahead with this list of top ten festivals to look out for this fall.
September 6, 2013 ~ September 15, 2013
Ginseng, ginseng, ginseng! Geumsan in Chungcheongnam-do is the largest producer of ginseng in the country. At this festival you can learn about the health benefits of the root as well as make your own ginseng rice cake, run in a marathon, drink tea and just generally be super healthy.
Directions: Seoul Express Bus Terminal –> intercity bus to Geumsan (2h40m) –> take a taxi to the festival venue approx.. 1.5km away.
2. Donghae Squid Festival 동해 오징어축제
September 14, 2013 ~ September 15, 2013
If you missed this beach over the summer, here’s a chance to head there to enjoy not only the sand and beach breezes but also squid! Expect a small town festival feel, the chance to catch squid with your hands, cultural rituals and ceremonies and a squid masquerade. It sounds almost too good to be true.
Directions: Express Bus Terminal –> Donghae Terminal (3h35m) OR Dong Seoul Bus Terminal –> Donghae Terminal (2h50m)
September 27, 2013 ~ October 6, 2013
This festival is to celebrate the folk dance heritage of Korea and has more than fifty events to do so. Andong is famous for the masks and this festival is pretty popular because of it. Expect lots of performances, education on Korean masks and you can make your own mask to take home. Make it a weekend getaway and head to nearby Hahoe Folk Village for even more Korean culture and heritage.
Directions: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal –> bus to Andong (every 30 minutes) –> Taxi to the Maskdance Park (탈춤공원), 15 minutes.
October 2, 2013 ~ October 6, 2013
One of the main festivals of Seoul, it is held along the Gwanghwamun Square, the Seoul Plaza, the Cheonggye Plaza and in other areas of downtown Seoul. There are performances, exhibitions, experience programs and more. There’s something for everyone and as it is in some prime tourist areas there will be massive crowds of people to enjoy every bit of the festival with.
Directions: Gwanghwamun Station exit 2/5 and City Hall Station exit 5/6
October 3, 2013 ~ October 7, 2013
The event for wine lovers in Korea. This festival is in its fourth year and takes place in Yeongdong near Wine Korea Inc. in Chungbuk the largest grape producing area in the country. The festival not only provides Korean wine, but also foreign wines to taste, a wine & jazz concert, an auction and a chance to make and take your very own wine soap, wine chocolate or wine tteokbokki.
Directions: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal –> Bus to Yeongdong (8:00, 14:00, 15:10, 18:00)
OR Seoul station –> Train to Yeongdong Terminal
From the station or terminal –> five minute taxi to Yeongdong Stadium (영동체육관).
October 3, 2013 ~ October 12, 2013
In its 18th year, this is one of the largest film festivals in Korea and provides an opportunity to see films from over 70 countries. The event takes place in five theaters across Busan, so be careful when choosing movie times and places so there’s enough time to take appropriate transportation. There are over 10,000 people expected to attend during the festival period to have the opportunity to see some great movies from all over the world and maybe catch a glimpse of some pretty famous faces.
Directions: Seoul Train Station –> Busan Terminal –> Head to any of the movie theaters to get tickets, programs and more information.
October 12, 2013
One of the last big music festivals to wrap up the music festival season, this is your event if you want to dance into autumn to electro music from artists such as Fatboy Slim, Porter Robinson, Madeon or Zombie Nation. This year the festival takes place at Caribbean Bay and shuttle buses are available.
October 16, 2013 ~ October 25, 2013
Ever wonder where you can watch those independent films here in Korea? This festival was originally the Indie Video Festival and is now an art festival and alternative video festival rolled into one. This year there will be films featured from South Korea, the UK, Australia, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, India and France.
Directions: Hongik University Station in Seoul, exit 8 or 9 –> walk to Media Theater i-Gong
9. Seoul Lantern Festival 서울등축제
November 1, 2013 ~ November 17, 2013
This lantern festival lights up the Cheonggyecheon Stream, an already beautiful place on its own, drawing crowds day and night. Hundreds of lanterns hang across the stream, float in the water or sit on the stepping stones crossing the water. The lanterns are turned on from 5PM until 11PM and the walk from the beginning is a leisurely 1.5 kilometers. Be prepared for crowds, but the lights are worth it.
Directions: Euljiro 1-ga Station Exit 2 or 3, Jonggak Station Exit 5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit 5
November 8, 2013 ~ November 11, 2013
To wrap up the fall season, head out to Cheongsong in Gyeongsangbuk-do for some fresh air and some high quality apples. There is everything from picking apples and making apple soap to the more intensive splitting apples with your bare hands and apple darts. Grab some friends, play some games, enjoy the crisp fall air and take home a bag of apple-licious goodies.
Directions: Dong Seoul Bus Terminal –> bus to Cheongsong (6:30, 8:40, 10:20, 12:00, 15:10, 16:40) –> from Cheongsong Terminal take a local bus to Juwangsan Mountain and get off at the Folk Museum.
This post was also shared on The Korea Blog here.