10 Summer Festivals You’ve Gotta Attend
Summer is almost here and along with the heat comes sun, flowers, and outdoor events to keep people active around the country. There’s everything from fun on one of the numerous beaches that line the coasts of Korea to cultural events and live music. Where will you be this summer?
1. Gangneung Danoje Festival 강릉단오제
May 31, 2014 ~ June 7, 2014
This festival is for the culture seekers this summer. This celebration has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Asset by UNESCO and during the festival visitors can partake in traditional games, eat traditional cuisine and watch traditional performances with masked dancers. To make the weekend even better, this festival takes place in the beach town of Gangneung so, learn about some traditional Korean culture and then hit the nearby beach for a great weekend getaway.
Where: Danojang, Gangneung, Korea
2. Haeundae Sand Festival 해운대모래축제
June 6, 2014 ~ June 9, 2014
Here’s where to start the summer off right with some fun in the sun and maybe some sand down the pants. Haeundae is one of the premier beaches in the country and visitors can take part in hot sand baths, beach volleyball competitions and races as well as see fireworks, sand sculptures, concerts and of course swim in the ocean. It’s not really summer until you hit the beach, right? Start this summer in Haeundae.
Where: Haeundae Beach, Busan, Korea
3. Gwangju Toechon Tomato Festival 퇴촌토마토축제
June 20, 2014 ~ June 22, 2014
A list of summer festivals would not be complete without a fresh produce event. The area of Toechon has been growing tomatoes since the 70’s and visitors to the area will be able to harvest their own tomatoes, make tomato chili pepper paste and if you like to get a little messy when you eat, you can even swim in tomatoes!
Where: Jeongji 2-ri, Toechon, Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
4. Ulsan Whale Festival 울산고래축제
July 3, 2014 ~ July 6, 2014
Ulsan, home to multiple whale related attractions including the Bangudae Petroglyphs, a whale museum and a Whales & Ocean Experience Center, will celebrate a festival in which visitors can partake in whale watching cruises and whale themed performances. Re-enactments of traditional methods used for whale fishing as well as other traditional performances can be witnessed as well. This would make for a great trip to Ulsan for those that haven’t been.
Where: Taehwagang River and Jangsaengpo area in Nam-gu, Ulsan, Korea
5. Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 부천 국제판타스틱영화제
July 17, 2014 ~ July 27, 2014
If heading outside to a beach and getting toasty isn’t your idea of fun this summer, there’s always fantastic films to enjoy. Sit inside a cool dark room and enjoy movies from various genres and of controversial topics from all around the world. Sit in on conversations with film directors, watch the PiFan parade and take a break from the heat with this festival.
Where: Bucheon Citizens’ Hall and City Hall, Bucheon CGV, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
6. Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival 부여서동연꽃축제
July 17, 2014 ~ July 20, 2014
The spring flowers have come and gone, but there are still some summer beauties to enjoy. The festival takes place around Gungnamji, the first man-made pond in Korea, created near the royal palace by King Muwang during the Baekje Kingdom. Performances, the opportunity to make a paper lotus flowers and lotus flower soap as well as view the gorgeous flowers at this festival that also highlights the importance of wild flower preservation are just some of things guests to the area can enjoy.
Where: Seodong Park and Gungnamji Pond, Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do, Korea
7. Boryeong Mud Festival 보령머드축제
July 18, 2014 ~ July 27, 2014
One of the most popular festivals on the continent with foreigners, this one hardly needs much explanation. Most people don’t head there just for the professed benefits of a good soak in the mud, but tend to find fun in the mud wrestling, mud sliding and swimming in mud. What more could you want out of a mud festival after all? Here’s a good reason to get down and dirty this summer in Korea.
Where: Daecheon Beach, Boryeong, Korea
8. Gangjin Celadon Festival 강진청자축제
July 26, 2014 ~ August 3, 2014
Gangjin is widely known for its blue celadon, a kind of ceramic made possible through the local clay, fuel, water and climate of this Jeollanam-do area. A once flourishing area with blue celadon production is now down to just 16 active kilns. Visitors can view the precious earthenware as well as partake in a Goryeo Dynasty royalty experience, make celadon rubbing patterns and more.
Where: Goryeo Celadon Doyoji area, Daegu, Gangjin-gu, Jeollanam-do, Korea
9. Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival 인천 펜타포트 락페스티벌
August 1, 2014 – August 3, 2014
Since 2006, this festival has a been a favorite of fans of rock and electronic music. The name comes out of the combination of the five main themes of the fest: music, passion, eco-friendly, DIY and friendship. Past performers have included Fall Out Boy, Windy City, Skid Row, Story Of the Year, Snow Patrol, 10cm, Simple Plan, Neon Trees and The Ting Tings.
First Line-up includes: Kasabian, Boys Like Girls, Crash, The Horrors, Orange Suicide, Suicidal Tendencies, Pia, Romantic Punch, Solutions + more
Where: Incheon Dreampark, Incheon, Korea
10. Busan Sea Festival 부산바다축제
August 1, 2014 ~ August 8, 2014
This one festival actually encompasses multiple festivals and events including the Busan International Rock Festival, the Busan International Dance Festival, the Korean Sea Literature Festival and about 30 other small festivals. From art performances, concerts and water sports to sporting tournaments there is fun to be had around every corner. This festival, celebrating it’s 19th run, will certainly have something for everyone and if you can only get down to Busan once this summer, this is the time to go.
Where: Haeundae Beach, Gwanganli Beach, Songdo Beach and Songjeong Beach