Not-So-Typical Korean Festivals

By Briseida Rivera

With the world as big as it is there are all sorts of customs and traditions from different places. Trying to figure out what the best way to learn about a country's culture can be quite difficult, daunting, and perhaps not all that fun. However, Korea gives learning about their customs a fun twist by putting on some not-so-typical festivals.

  • Andong Mask Dance Festival

Taking place during the fall months in Andong, a city known for holding a huge amount of cultural properties and aesthetics, you can find some traditions such as Chajeon Nori (a battle game), Not-Dari-Balgi (a play), Hajeon Ssaeum and Jeojeon Nonmegi (farmer songs), to name a few. The culture, history and religious heritages are what make up the Mask Dance Festival. A lot of the Andong culture can be learned through the festival due to the types of masks used along with the traditional music that accompanies the dance. This festival is a fun learning experience anyone can enjoy!

  • Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival

Suwon Hwaseong, also known as Hwaseong Fortress, is a fortification that surrounds the center of Suwon, and the Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival is an event that’s held in the Suwon region every October. During this festival, a series of events are put on such as the Reenactment of Royal Parade of King Jeongjo, Jangyongyeong Guard Ceremony, the Citizens Parade, and many other traditional performances. This landmark is a sight for everyone to see, and it especially comes to life during the festival!

  • Anseong Namsadang Baudeogi Festival

The Anseong Namsadang Baudeogi Festival has been an annual event since 2002, held in the Baudeogi Shrine. Through a revival of the Anseong Market (one of three important markets during the Joseon Dynasty), and theatre shows, visitors can fully experience some of Korea’s cultures and traditions. Performances such as acrobatics, singing, and dancing can wrap the visitor into a learning experience without them knowing. 

  • Yeongdong Nangye Traditional Music Festival

The Yeongdong Nangye Traditional Music Festival takes place in the Yeongdongcheon Stream and is the only gugak (traditional Korean music) festival. Held in order to praise Park Yeon’s (the creator behind the theory of Korean traditional music) achievements, it is a symbol representing traditional music. The festival holds all kinds of exhibitions and experiences that will help educate the visitors. An interactive festival that lets the audience sample the instruments used throughout the event is a fun way to learn some of the country’s culture.

  • Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival 

Kimchi is a staple for Korean cuisine and is almost eaten with any meal throughout the day as a side or incorporated into the main dish. Throughout this festival, visitors sample a variety of kimchi dishes as well as learn how to make this staple cuisine. The festival is held in Gwangju and holds exhibitions along with hands-on activities that help educate visitors in various Korean traditions. Enjoy feeding your body and mind through delicious kimchi and Korean culture.

Learning about a new culture doesn’t have to be seen as a daunting task and these festivals show how fun it can actually be!

What’s one festival you’d like to experience for yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Briseida Rivera

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