Seoul Lantern Festival - coming soon

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Author's note: a version of this article is published in the November 2010 issue of the Groove.

In case you needed an excuse to head to Cheonggyecheon, here's an excellent one. The 2nd annual Seoul Lantern Festival (서울 세계등축제) will host dozens of gorgeous lanterns lighting up Cheonggyecheon. Go for the opening ceremony on the 5th if you want, or head down anytime to appreciate the lights. Though the lanterns will be up day and night, head there in the evening to catch them looking their best.

Start at Cheonggye Plaza, then head to different sections that use the bridges as dividers. Expect at least one section to feature Korea's 600-year tradition of lanterns, along with plenty of international flavor. Last year, lanterns featured a mixture of traditional (Gwanghwamun), international (Chinese dragons and Egyptian pyramids), distinctly Korean (from Korean wrestling to Poporo), and Buddha himself riding a white elephant.

Thanks to those wonderful seasons Korea's so proud of, it'll be time to bundle up - and a good excuse to stay close to your date / significant other. Expect to walk a kilometer or so along Cheonggyecheon stream to thoroughly appreciate all of the lanterns.

What: The Seoul Lantern Festival (NOT the Lotus Lantern Festival - that's in the spring, people)

Who: People who like pretty lights and shiny objects.

When: November 5-14 - opening ceremony starts at 2pm at Cheonggyecheon Plaza

Where: Cheonggyecheon Plaza and stream, downtown Seoul (see specific directions at the end of the article).
Why: To make downtown Seoul pretty, or to keep the young folks aware of the centuries-old tradition.

Directions to Cheonggyecheon / Lantern Festival: Take line 1 or 2 of the Seoul subway system to the City Hall station. Take exit 4 to street level and walk about 400 meters. You can also reach the area via exit 5 from Gwanghwamun station on line 5. Either way, look for the swirled needle pointing skyward and turn towards it. Keep walking straight, and head down the stairs to stream level (about 7 meters below street level) for the best views

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe - 2010

This post was originally published on my blog,Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.



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