10 Festivals To Enjoy This Autumn in Korea
Autumn is finally here. The cool breezes have blown in, the nights require cardigans and jackets and soon the leaves will be changing colors and one of the most beautiful seasons in Korea will be here and then gone faster than you know it. Make plans now to take advantage of some of these fall festivals to really enjoy the cooler season that is upon us.
1. Andong Maskdance Festival (안동국제탈춤페스티벌)
September 25, 2015 ~ October 4, 2015
This festival is one of the most popular of the autumn season and no fall festival list for Korea would be complete without it. The Maskdance Festival celebrates the folk dance heritage of Korea with more than 50 events. Not only can visitors witness mask dances from all over Korea, but international troupes also attend to share their own cultural mask dances. Performances, competitions, dance lessons, exhibits and more can be enjoyed at this festival.
Where: Maskdance Park & Hahoe Village, Andong, Korea
2. Busan International Film Festival (부산국제영화제)
October 1, 2015 ~ October 10, 2015
In its 20th year, this festival is not to be missed. If you are a movie buff, enthusiast or just interested in seeing some foreign films, you better get to BIFF this October. This year, BIFF will feature 304 films from 75 different countries on 35 screens at 6 different theaters around Busan. This festival has gotten bigger and bigger with each passing year and really offers something for everyone. Make sure to book a hotel early so you have some place to stay! Even if you don’t want to bother with online ticket sales, rest assured, the organizers always hold some tickets aside to be sold to first come first serve recipients come festival time. Between screenings, you can always enjoy the beaches, food and fun in Busan, too!
3. Hi Seoul Festival (하이서울페스티벌)
October 1, 2015 ~ October 4, 2015
Street art takes over the downtown area with performances, installations and more. There’s plenty to enjoy, see and even some events to partake in. The Cloud Playground and Chalk Playground will make the city the canvas and you the artist or head downtown Sunday evening to get involved in a parade that will take over the streets from Cheonggye Plaza to Seoul Plaza. Check out the website for dates and times so that you can enjoy art in the city this autumn.
4. Seoul International Fireworks Festival (서울세계불꽃축제)
October 3, 2015
The fire flowers, as they could be translated from Korean, will light up the night sky over the Han River. To get the best seats, head to Yeouido and walk across the bridges headed north. Join the masses that will “ooh” and “aah” the night away. Helpful hint: bring your own food and drinks that you’ve purchased somewhere else because everything and I mean everything will be packed on Yeouido. People will be seated blanket to blanket with no room to spare in Yeouido Park so for the best views and easiest way to depart when it’s all said and done, walk over Mapo Bridge during the show meandering as you do and enjoying the fireworks. By the time you’re all the way over, the show will be just ending and you can head to the north to catch a bus, taxi or subway to wherever your night’s adventure will take you.
5. Global Gathering Korea (글로벌개더링 코리아)
October 3, 2015
If you’re not quite ready to say “goodbye” to the summer music festival fun and want one last hurrah, look no further than Global Gathering. The line-up this year includes: Nu:Tone, Head Hunterz, Matzo, NetSky, Keeno, The Chain Smokers, Above & Beyond as well as local favorites: Jamie, Mazestik, Akxarch, Peachade, Maximite, DJ F_F, Shaun, Cabinett, Apachi, Idiotape and more.
6. Guri Cosmos Festival (구리코스모스축제)
October 9, 2015 ~ October 11, 2015
Guri Hangang Park just outside of eastern Seoul offers some amazing fields of flowers to enjoy and this fall the cosmos will be blooming their light pinks and whites to everyone’s delight. Home to Cosmos Park, you’re sure to get some great views here. Head to the area to enjoy the beauty of flower fields as far as the eye can see as well as other riverside park amenities like walking paths, bike paths and more.
Where: Wangsukcheon-ro, Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
7. The Korea Wine Festival (대한민국와인축제)
October 15, 2015 ~ October 18, 2015
It’s hard to go wrong when you have a glass of wine in your hand… well maybe that’s not true, but wine and fun go together pretty well. There will be lots of wine to try, international foods to enjoy and events to partake in. You can get a photo and make your own label for a bottle of wine and dip your feet in a wine bath. Other events include classical, jazz, and acoustic guitar concerts while you sip wine on the lawn and sweepstakes in which you can win 100 bottles of wine,
Where: Yeongdong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea
8. Suncheon Bay Reeds Festival (순천만갈대축제)
November 6, 2015 ~ November 8, 2015
If you just want to take in the beauty of nature this fall, then Suncheon is the place to go. Suncheon Bay is also known as the reed kingdom of Korea and in the fall the wooden planked paths that wind through the fields take visitors across 37 acres of brown reeds basking in the autumn sunlight. While there, you may also glimpse rare birds and protected species in the area.
Where: Suncheon Bay & Dongcheon Stream, Jeollanam-do, Korea
9. Cheongsong Apple Festival (청송사과축제)
November 6, 2015 ~ November 8, 2015
Cheongsong may not be a location that many take the time to travel to, but for those that do, it’s worth the trek. The area has the smallest national park in the country and has some high quality apples as well as some other local delicacies sure to make the pallet sing. Enjoy everything from picking apples, making apple soap and even try splitting apples with your bare hands. Play some games and enjoy the crisp fall air with some crisp delicious apples. Take in some traditional performances, partake in a singing contest and buy some apples to take home while you’re at this festival.
Where: Cheongsong-gun, Gyeongsanbuk-do, Korea
10. Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제)
November 7, 2015 ~ November 23, 2015
If you’re not looking to get out of the city, there’s always the Seoul Lantern Festival. One of the many great aspects about this festival is that it spans almost three weeks so you can sorta go with the flow and see how the weather is when deciding to head to this one. Lighting up the Cheonggyecheon Stream in the downtown area of the city, you can take in views of the hundreds of lanterns that are either strung across or floating in the water. Lanterns are turned on from 5PM until 11PM and the walk is about 1.5 kilometers. Be prepared for crowds though as everyone is hoping to glimpse these beauties.
I hope everyone is able to get out and about at least a little and enjoy the wondrous season that is autumn.
*Photos in this post that are not my own were found on the websites linked to.