Everything You Want and Need To Know About The Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival!

By Nicole Simpkin

Ah yes, one of the things Korea does amazingly: festivals! One of the most traditional Korean festivals is the Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival. This is an annual festivity that occurs around late September to early October every year and, by the end of this article I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s quite the spectacle! The event takes place for 2 weeks from October 1st - October 14th and is held to honour and commemorate the thousands of Koreans who sacrificed their lives during the Japanese invasion in the late 16th century.

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1 - 14 October 2018 Jinju Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival . Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom used during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading the Namgang River. The highlights of the festival are the floating of lanterns carrying personal wishes of the citizens along the Namgang River, and the parade of lanterns created by the students themselves. In addition, the festival features gaejesik (lighting of lanterns in remembrance of the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle veterans), an exhibition of the world’s traditional lanterns, and many more participatory cultural programs. . #jinjunamgangyudeungfestival #jinju #korea #tripkoreamurah #jalanjalankorea #visitkorea #koreatour #liburanmurahkorea #paketwisatakoreamurah #wisatamurahkorea #explorekorea #jasatripkorea #tripkorea #privatetourkorea #goblintour #kpoptour #backpackerkorea #liburanserukorea #paketmurahkorea #korea #turkoreamurah

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At the festival, lanterns are lit all along the Jinju Namgang River, shaped as many different characters, landmarks, and even some of Korea’s most traditional figures such as historical leaders, animals, instruments and much more! Some of the exhibitions there are even interactive and and great for taking some memorable photos.

The lighting of the lanterns symbolises the way of communication that was used during the war period, when lanterns were used as military signals to prevent the Japanese, during the Jinjuseong battle of 1592, from storming across the Namgang river. They were also used for family members to communicate with each other outside of the Jinjuseong Fortress.  

There are many activities that are held during the festival to get the attendees more involved. One of the many events is lantern making. Here, the attendees are able to make their very own lanterns. On them, they write some future goals or wishes. Then later, they set them off down the river and watch their lanterns, along with many others, aglow in the dark, on the water. It’s a moment that is said to be quite a peaceful and joyous one.

There are also Wish Lanterns that can be purchased, where people write their wishes down on their lanterns and hang them up in the Tunnel of Wish Lanterns, a tunnel filled with a stunning array of thousands of radiant, red lanterns that beautifully light up the sides of the Namgang river!

Attendees also have the opportunity to witness amazing parades and performances!

Along with the many activities to do during the festival, a ferry is available during the afternoon and evening to allow people to get a closer look at the mesmerising path of lanterns afloat on the water, and take a break from the bustling crowds in the streets.

And what is the one thing every brilliant festival has? Food! There are many food stands scattered around the festival area, offering many different choices, such as, Japanese Takoyaki, Hurricane Potatoes, Skewers, Kebab, Spicy Rice Cake (떡볶이), Fishcake (오뎅) and many other street food favourites. You’ll also find some of Korea’s funky Lightbulb juice being sold there too, so make sure to grab yourself one!

Another must-see attraction at this spectacular event is the fireworks display in the evening. The mesmerising glowing scene of colour sparkling against the dark night sky really completes the whole experience!

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While posting pictures from Dubai lantern park, I was reminded of #jinjunamgangyudeungfestival At #SouthKorea. This Lantern festival is celebrated in October every year and is truly magical!!! The city of Jinju is magically transformed into beautiful lighted up paradise. Amongst exhibits, years ago in 2012 when I had seen it, were paper dragons spitting out fire and fireworks with drones!!! The beautiful river also comes alive with people in form of lantern! #Jinju #Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom used during the #Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading the #NamgangRiver. The highlights of the #festival are the floating of lanterns carrying personal wishes of the citizens along the Namgang River, and the parade of #lanterns created by the students themselves. In addition, the festival features #gaejesik (lighting of lanterns in remembrance of the #Jinjuseong Fortress Battle veterans), an exhibition of the world’s traditional lanterns, and many more participatory cultural programs. #visitkorea #lanternfestival #fireworks #travelgram #travel #travelstoke #travelstories #travelwithkids #mykorea #instakorea

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So there you have it, everything you want and need to know about the bustling Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival! I’m sure we can all agree, this definitely sounds like a brilliant festival! With its great cultural heritage, beautiful and striking scenery, and fun activities for everyone, this festival truly is one to attend!

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