World ? Asia ? South Korea

South Korea: The Best Festivals and Celebrations

As a general note, most celebrations happen in the spring or autumn.

  • The Day the Buddha Came (or Buddha's Birthday; throughout the country): Sometimes referred to as the festival of lanterns, every temple in the country gets lit up like a Christmas tree in celebration of the birth of the Enlightened One.

  • Baekje Cultural Festival (Buyeo or Gongju): Every October, this historical event celebrates the great Baekje kings with over 100 performances and events throughout the area.

  • Boryeong Mud Festival (Daecheon, Chungcheongnam-do): Held on the muddy beaches of Daechon every July, this is basically organized mud play on the beach. It's not only a great photo op, but you also get a beneficial skin treatment while rolling around in the mud. The dirty activities include mud wrestling, mud slides, and making mud soap.

  • Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF; Busan): The largest and most renowned of Korea's film festivals, it is a wonderful showcase for current films from throughout Asia.

  • Andong Maskdance Festival (Andong, Gyeongsangnam-do): Although the highlight of the festival is the Korean talchum (mask dance), performers from other countries show off their traditional splendor.

  • Gangneung Danoje Festival (Gangneung, Gangwon-do): Celebrating the traditional "Dano" (the fifth day of the fifth month of the year), it is one of the few places you can see traditional shamanistic rituals.

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