Top 3 Festivals to Check Out While in South Korea

Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Just like South Korea is known for its diverse landscape of countryside which includes centuries-old Buddhist temples, coastal villages, sub-tropical islands, and high-tech cities, the country’s festivals are just as diverse. And the best way to get to know the culture, people, and traditions of South Korea is to check out the festivals. These three are the ones you don’t want to miss.

Jeju Fire Festival

The Jeju Fire Festival is held in early to mid-March each year and it takes place around Saebyeol Oreum Volcanic Cone on Jeju Island, off South Korea’s south coast. It originated from the farming tradition of burning fields to get rid of old grass and pests, and now, Koreans light bonfires under a full moon and make wishes for a good harvest. In addition to bonfires, there is a torchlit parade, fireworks, food vans, and cultural performances.

Boryeong Mud Festival

Perhaps the country’s best-known festival is the Boryeong Mud Festival, which is held in July on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong on South Korea’s west coast. There’s a massive mud fight, a mud run with 10 hurdles, mud baths, mud facials, and inflatable slides covered in mud. Don’t miss the K-pop or mud singing concert.

Pohang International Fireworks Festival

Held during October in Pohang on South Korea’s east coast on Yeongildae Beach, which is known as the City of Light and Fire, this festival has water gun fights and street performers during the day and fireworks and an illuminated parade at night.