10 Spring Festivals To Look Forward To
Spring is here! Spring is here!
Okay, maybe the weather hasn’t quite caught up with the name of the month now on the calendar but, pretty little spring is showing her pretty little head as we speak. The frigid winds that smacked our faces all winter are letting up and the sun is shining bright hoping to warm up the flower bulbs beneath the ground. Parkas should be replaced with bright colored cardigans and plans should be made to get out and enjoy the new season that is upon us!
Here are 10 spring festivals to look forward to and to put on the calendar now!
1. The Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival (진도 신비의 바닷 축제)
- March 20, 2015 ~ March 23, 2015
- Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do
Every few years this festivals falls on a weekend which means more of the working crowd can actually attend. Dependent on the rise and fall of the tides, this “miracle” has had similarities made between it and the Moses sea parting. It may not be that miraculous, but it is indeed exciting to walk from the mainland out to an island 2.8 kilometers away with a bunch of people in thigh high waders during this festival. Collecting shellfish and finding starfish along the way in the mounds of seaweed is pretty fun too.
Take a bus to Jindo from Central City Express Bus Terminal, there are only 4 per day at 7:35AM, 9:00AM, 3:30PM and 4:35PM and the trip takes 5 hours and 40 minutes.
2. Gurye Sansuyu Festival (구례 산수유꽃 축제)
- March 21, 2015 ~ March 29, 2015
- Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do
If you want to combine a festival with hiking, flowers and some hot springs, this is the weekend away just for you. This annual flower festival is set in the Jirisan Hot Springs area and not only will the scenes be yellow and a beautiful welcome to the new season, but there will also be fruit infused makgeolli to warm your bones and traditional music and dance programs to make you smile. If Gurye is a bit too far for you, there is a Sansuyu festival in nearby Ichon with the same beautiful flowers and Korean traditional games to enjoy from April 4th to April 6th.
To Gurye: Take an intercity bus to Gurye Terminal and from there catch a bus to Jungdong (중동). There are many buses that depart to this location so take your pick.
To Icheon: From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal take an intercity bus to Icheon Terminals. Buses run from 6:10AM – 11:00PM in 20-40 minute intervals and the trip takes an hour. From Icheon Terminal there are free shuttle buses outside of the terminal and to the right in front of the Grand Wedding Hall.
3. Nonsan Strawberry Festival (논산 딸기 축제)
- April 1, 2015 ~ April 5, 2015
- Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
The Nonsan Strawberry Festival offers people a chance to gallivant in the fields of strawberries filling up their bellies as they go and not only that, at the fair grounds you can enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry jams, popcorn, strawberry pancakes and of course the singing antics of locals as well as the local food delicacies. Spring just wouldn’t be the same without strawberries to munch on!
Catch an intercity bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal. They run every 40 minutes from 6:30AM to 11:45PM. Once there, follow the crowds and the balloons lining the street, it’s a short walk, or catch a local bus 515, 516, 601, 701 or 712 to Daegyodong (대교동).
4. Cherry Blossom Festivals Galore
There are so many places across the country to catch the cherry blossoms in bloom come spring in Korea. From right down the street to mountain roads there’s bound to be some place to see the trees come alive.
Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (April 1, 2015 ~ April 10, 2015): This is the largest cherry blossom festival in the country and not only celebrates the blossoming of spring but also celebrates the Admiral Yi Sun Shin.
Take and intercity bus to Jinhae and from the terminal, follow the millions of people. OR take a train to Jinhae Station and walk/ follow the people to the festival venue.
Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival (April 3, 2015 ~ April 5, 2015) : ‘The 10ri Cherry Blossom Road’ is the draw for this festival. 10 ri equals approximately 4.5 kilometers of cherry blossoms to enjoy and it is said if lovers walk down this road holding hands they will live happily together forever.
From Nambu Bus Terminal take a bus to Hadong at 6:30AM, 8:00AM, 9:30AM, 11:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM, 5:30PM, 7:30PM or 10:00PM and get off at Hwagae Terminal.
Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival (April 5, 2015 ~ April 13, 2015): Gyeongpo has a 4.3 kilometer long walk around a gorgeous lake that is lined with cherry blossoms and that’s not the only thing worth a visit, the beach that sits just beyond the lake is gorgeous as well. There are various cultural events and flower exhibitions and if there’s extra time a pretty nice gramaphone museum nearby.
Take an intercity bus to Gangneung and outside the station catch bus 202 to Gyeongpodae.
Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (Usually early-April): If you have no time to get out of the city, a popular place to head to welcome the spring with cherry blossom festivals is Yeouido. Around 1,500 cherry blossom trees bloom and the roads are blocked to traffic to allow visitors full access. An added bonus is that these flowers are lit up at night, so enjoy the flowers from day into night this spring.
Access via the Seoul Subway: Dangsan Station exit 4, Yeouinaru Station exit 1, Yeouido Station exit 5 or National Assembly Station exit 1 or 6.
5. The Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Culture Festival (대구약령시 한방문화축제)
- April 15, 2015 ~ April 19, 2015
The international herbal market in Daegu has a 350 year long history and the festival gives participants a chance to experience Korean traditional medicine and learn more about herbal remedies that offer relaxing and curative care. This event will offer guests free check-ups and body analysis as well as herbal medicine pack massages and teas to sample. This is definitely the festival to visit to learn more about Korean culture as well as get your body ready for the summer from the inside out. (If you can’t make it to this one, there is also a smaller, but just as interesting herbal medicine culture festival here in Seoul at our local Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Market in Dongdaemun every October.)
Daegu Banwoldang Subway Station, exit 18. Walk straight for 200 meters to find the medicine market.
6. Gwangalli Eobang Festival (광안리 어방 축제)
- Usually end of April
- Gwangalli Beach, Busan
If the warmer gusts of wind and the aromas of blooming flowers make you just want to jump right into summer, then this is the festival to head to. The Gwangalli Eobang Festival is all the fun you could want to have on a beach before you can actually start swimming because the water is still too cold. There is bare-hand fishing, cooking contests, a tug-of-war and of course lots of good food to chow down on. Not that you need a reason to head down to Busan but, if you just want one to convince your friends, here it is.
Busan: Gwangan Subway Station exit 3 or 5 and walk straight until you get to the beach.
7. Lotus Lantern Festival (연등회 연등축제)
- May 15, 2015 ~ May 17, 2015
- Seoul, Korea
The Lotus Lantern Festival is one of the most beautiful festivals in the country. People dressed up in Hanboks and other traditional attire carry lanterns in all different shapes and sizes along a parade route to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday. Before and after there are events from traditional music and dance to painting and making your own lotus lantern. It all culminates in a dance party in the streets of downtown Seoul. Old or young, this is a beautiful festival that everyone can enjoy.
The street festival is on the street outside of Jogyesa temple and can be accessed via Seoul subway stations: Jonggak Station exit 2 and Anguk Station exit 6. The parade runs from Dongguk University to Jogyesa Temple and can be seen along Jongno. Check their site for specific information.
8. Boseong Green Tea Festival
- May 22, 2015 ~ May 26, 2015
- Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do
Boseong hosts the largest green tea festival in Korea among the sprawling green tea fields the area is famous for. Visitors can pick the green tea leaves and drink green tea, of course, as well as learn about traditional tea drinking etiquette and just enjoy the very green area that surrounds.
From Seoul Express Bus Terminal catch an intercity bus to Boseong
9. Greenplugged Music Festival
- May 23, 2015 ~ May 24, 2015
- Nanji Park, Seoul
If you’re ready to pull the headphones out of your ears and start listening to blasting loud live music again while surrounded by loads of other people all clapping, dancing and drinking together, here’s the first big festival to kick off the summer live music festival season. The first line-up was just announced and will include YB, One More Chance, Pia, Sugar Donut, Every Single Day, Vanilla Unity and many many more. Get your ticket early to get the early bird discounts!
10. Chuncheon International Mime Festival (춘천 마임 축제)
- May 24, 2015 ~ May 31, 2015
- Chuncheon, Gangwon-do
Mimes? Lots of mimes all in one place? Who doesn’t want to see that? Chuncheon is so easy to get to from Seoul and among other things, it’s famous for some really tasty dakgalbi. If you’re looking for an easy weekend away with some stops along the way, head out to Chuncheon, stop at Nami Island on the way to or from, eat some dakgalbi and enjoy some of the many events that include music, dance, installation art and short films along with the mimes at this festival.
Take the subway out to Namchuncheon Station and take exit 1. Outside take bus 9 to Yaksa Apartment