In October some friends and I, took a 4 hour bus ride to get to the Jinju Lantern Festival! Let me tell you, it was worth it!
The Lantern Festival is said to be one of the best festivals in Korea and it actually has ties to historical events.
According to the Korean Tourism website, the custom of lantern lighting was used during the 1592 Japanese invasion at the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War. It was used as a military strategy to prevent the Japanese army from entering the Namgang River.
The river is filled with lanterns depicting folktales and fairy tales, Great hero's and kings of Korea as well as international lanterns like the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a Windmill, etc.
There is a floating bridge (actually a few) that you can cross (it is very difficult to walk on) to the other side of the river where there are shrines, and more lanterns, including one that shows the battle scene from 1592.
It was a great trip and festival to see. As with many, if not all, Korean festivals there was also a fireworks show! And don't worry about where to get food. They have tons of booths set up selling Korean food as well as international food from Belgian Waffles to Turkish Kebabs (both, by the way, are excellent choices).
Labels: Festival, Jinju Lantern Festival, South Korea