Saturday, December 4, 2010

Events and Festivals in Seoul

• January
During the month of January or February, one of the mega events of the year will take place and that is the Seoul Lunar New Year whereby the locals will celebrate with their family members and this is the time when transportation is always full. The city will pause for the day because everyone will be busy celebrating with their family because this is the time where they welcome the New Year or even celebrate the birthday. This is because some of them consider a year older when the New Year arrives.

• March
In March, the Seokjeondaeje Memorial Rite will occur. It is a festival whereby it honours Confucius by the traditional court orchestra performances. Officials will go down to the Confucius Shrine at Sungkyunkwan University in their old traditional attire.

Another festival that happens in the month of March is the Memorial Day. It is the day where the people honour those who died in the battle and also the fallen student protesters who died in the Daegu riots in 1960.

• April
Yeouido Spring Flowers Festival happens during the spring period. The purpose is to celebrate the cherry blossoms and it is certainly the time for tourists to visit Seoul and have a capture this beautiful scene of cherry blossom buds “exploding”. Besides watching the cherry blossom, there will be performances to entertain the “watchers”. One is able to spot dancers performing in their bright coloured traditional silk hanbok every day on stage. There will be traditional musicians playing the percussion music which will be combined with dance, theatre and acrobatics. Other than these traditional performances, there will also be modern entertainment like inline skating too. Spicy traditional Korean food is also available when street vendors can be spotted there. In addition, magical and romantic night’s light show during the night and during the last night of the spring festival, there will be fireworks display at the Han River after the sunset.

Lotus Lantern Festival is the day people celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha. By lantern-making, a flea market, and a Nori-Madang (outdoor stage) festival, they celebrate Lotus Lantern Festival. One could spot monks carrying lanterns from Chogyesa Temple and along Chongno Street.

• May
In the month of May, Hi Seoul Festival, a festival that is held four times in a year and it started since 2003. It is also one of the festivals which attracted tourists into the city because it is actually a seasonal cultural festival. It is one of the ways for the people to showcase the history and culture of Seoul. Usually it is a more than five days event which features drama performances, parades, traditional ceremonies, food fairs, light shows and many more. They use citizens parade to attract more people to come and take a look. Each year, there will be different themes for it so audiences do not have to worry about watching or experience the same thing over and over again.

• June
June, one festival will take place and it is called the Prehistoric Cultural Festival. It is the time when one is able to look into the other side of Korean culture. The performance of re-acting the scene of Pawijol Folk Funeral Games will show the spectators the details of South Korea's heritage. Furthermore, food stalls and fireworks are part of the festival besides the performance.

Seoul Tano Festival, another festival that occurs in June. This festival represents the start of the hot summer in Seoul. They celebrate this day with traditional games at this family event and the games comprise of rope skipping, chachigi (stick-tossing), and ssirum (wrestling). What’s more, traditional music and dance performances are part of the event too.

• August
Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival is an event that is held in COEX Convention & Exhibition Center every year and it usually last for more than 5 days. It is the time for showcasing of animation; cartoon and any related any genres, both domestic and internationally.

• September
Baekje Tomb Festival also known as Hansong Paekche Cultural Festival is to remember the Hansong and Paekche Kingdowm empires, which helped to form the Korean culture. The festival is celebrated over a total of three days and there will be folk dancing, a folk fiesta, and a dazzling procession for the visitors to enjoy.

Also held in the March, Seokjeondaeje Memorial Rite was held again in the month of September.

• October
Seoul Performing Arts Festival is one of the best performing art festivals in Asia. This is the time where people from all over the world (domestic or international) come to Seoul for dance, drama and multidisciplinary arts performances and competitions. This is also the time whereby audiences can experience different type of performances on the same stage.

One of the most symbolic global festivals in Seoul is the Seoul Drum Festival that is held annually during October. The purpose of this festival is to allow the locals to increase their knowledge on percussion art and also chances to come into contact with percussion. Moreover, it offers performing rooms for the percussionists to exchange skills and information. The percussionists will perform with traditional and modern drums and other percussion instruments.

Traditional VS Modern percussion performance

• December
Christmas, a worldwide celebrated festival is also celebrated in Seoul. Reason being Christianity is one of the religion that most of the people in Seoul has as their religion. During Christmas, the streets of Seoul will be lightening up with special lights and Christmas trees. Shopping malls will be specially decorated for the festival.

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