The Top Ten Summer Festivals to Hit In Korea
Summer summer summer!
It’s finally here with the hot gusts of wind followed by the cool breezes sweeping down from the mountains and in from the shores. Sandals, t-shirts and clothing with very little there has suddenly been whipped out of closets. Here’s what to look forward to this summer in Korea from sunny beach fun to townie food based get-togethers.
(This page contains affiliate links. That means if you click on them and purchase something, I will get a percentage of the transaction to keep up this blog and maybe if there’s a little extra to buy a bottle of red wine to go with dinner. Thanks for the support!)
1. Toechon Tomato Festival (퇴촌 토마토축제)
June 17, 2016 ~ June 19, 2016
Red ripe tomatoes are filling up markets and have gotten cheaper and cheaper as tomato season has come full swing. Toecheon is celebrating it’s 14th year of good ‘ole tomato fun. There’s nothing better than a townie get together to celebrate an agricultural crop complete with delicious Korean cuisine and a food fight, is there? Take some extra clothes because you’re going to get down and tomato-dirty at this fun festival.
2. Geochang Mountain Berry Juice & Watermelon Festival (고창 복분자와 수박축제)
June 17, 2016 ~ June 19, 2016
Is there a food that truly encompasses the feeling of summer more than watermelon? And if you haven’t tried either the mountain berry juice or the mountain berry alcoholic beverage since coming to Korea, then you need to and this is surely the place to partake. From eating contests to hand fishing and more, this is definitely worth going to the country for to experience fun in the summer sun Korean style with fruit and delicious alcohol too.
Where: 전북 고창군 아산면 삼인리
3. Boryeong Mud Festival (보령머드축제)
July 15, 2016 ~ July 24, 2016
There’s not too much to say about this event that hasn’t been said before. Mud Mud Mud! This one of the most popular summer festivals in Korea. Though the fest started due to the professed benefits of slathering it all over your skin and soaking in the muddy goodness, now mud wrestling, sliding and slinging are what it’s all about. Here’s the best reason to get down and dirty this summer and do it on a beach where it’s easy to wash off too.
4. Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival (부여서동연꽃축제)
July 8, 2016 ~ July 18, 2016
If you’d like to enjoy some of the natural beauty of the lotus flower, the Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival will be taking place in July. This festival seeks to preserve the wild flowers and highlight the importance of that preservation. Making paper lotus flowers and lotus flower soap are popular events if you need something more than just the beauty of the flowers themselves. Fireworks, a night parade, cultural ceremonies and performances also add to the fun at this festival. If you missed the Lotus Lantern Festival, this might just be the next best thing.
5. Pohang International Fireworks Festival (포항국제불빛축제)
July 28, 2016 ~ July 31, 2016
Fireworks fireworks are so fun! No summer would be complete without a fireworks display and Pohang, “The City of Light & Fire”, hosts a fireworks competition on its Yeongildae Beach. From lights in the sky to parades, street performances and more, not to mention the beautiful beach it’s all situated around, is reason enough to head to Pohang this summer. See the sights and enjoy the view
Where: 95, Haean-ro, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
(경상북도 포항시 북구 해안로 95)
6. Taebaek Sunflower Festival (태백 해바라기축제)
July 29, 2016 ~ August 16, 2016
Traditionally, to get out of the heat, Koreans would head into the mountains and valleys to rest in the shade dipping their footsies into the streams with cold water running down. On the mountain of Taebaek, you can do that AND view the largest sunflower field in Korea. The yellow petals dazzle in the sunlight and the heavy flowers weighing down the stalks are surely not a scene to complain about. A petting zoo, concerts, campfires and nature films make the festival a little hippie get-together in the mountain forests.
Where: Gwangwon-do Taebaek-si (강원 태백시 구와우마을)
7. Busan Beach Festival (부산 바다축제)
August 1, 2016 ~ August 7, 2016
The 21st Busan Sea Festival will take over the port city down south the first week of August. Busan beckons visitors each summer in August the fun and events are in full swing. The beaches are welcoming city dwellers to the shores with sand and sea and more. This festival actually encompasses the Busan International Rock Festival, the Busan International Dane Festival, the Korean Sea Literature Festival and about 30 other small festivals that happen all at once. There’s literally something for everyone with art, sports, music, performances and more.
8. Chuncheon Makguksu Dakgalbi Festival
August 25, 2016 ~ August 30, 2016
Chuncheon, a city easily accessible from Seoul via subway and bus, is famous for a delicious stir-fried chicken and cabbage meal. From gorgeous views and little temples tucked away in mountains, the little city to the east offers a lot to see and do and this festival invites everyone to come over for a bite to eat and some fun along the way. This is a great reason to hop on the fast train and see what you can see.
9. Yeongdong Grape Festival (영동 포도축제)
August 25, 2016 ~ August 28, 2016
Summer wouldn’t be the same without heading into the bushes of berries or in this case grapes, to pick them and eat them under the shade of nearby trees. The Yeongdong Grape Festival goes above and beyond that though. Not only can you pick your own grapes from the vineyard, you can eat the different grapey foodie goodness, drink the wine the grapes are made into, enjoy chocolate dipped grapes and more. There’s plenty to enjoy at this festival that comes just in time at the end of the summer.
Where: Chungbuk-do Yeongdong-gun (충북 영동군 영동체육관 일원)
10. Muju Firefly Festival (무주 반딧불축제)
August 27, 2016 ~ September 4, 2016
To say goodbye to summer and hello autumn, head to Muju to end the summer with the lightning bugs you chased as a child. In 2014, more than 72 million people made it to this festival and it has become the second most popular fest in the country. Other than the lightning bugs, expect to enjoy traditional performances, music performances, sporting events and more among the natural settings that the fireflies prosper in at the 20th Muju Firefly Festival.