The 2019 Seoul Lantern Festival theme is Your Seoul, Light through Dream which features the beautiful lanterns from our favorite fairy tales. Check out this article for more wonderful and more twinkling lanterns.
Yearly, the Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제) is held throughout the period from the first Friday of November to the third Sunday of November. Every year a lot of locals and foreigners visit starting from Cheonggyecheon Square to Supyogyo Bridge to see the lanterns lightened up during the night. This year the festival started last November 1 and will end on November 17.
This 2019 Seoul Lantern Festival carrying the theme “Your Seoul, Light Your Dream”, once again prove that everything is possible. The great and wonderful creation of every lantern gave us the meaning that through the light we can make our dreams come true, deliver old tales, and the fairytales that bring out the magic in us.
What to see at the 2019 Seoul Lantern Festival?
Your Shining Fairytale
Aside from the sponsored theme, the fairy tale lanterns are present at the festival too with matching storytelling. From our favorite character who left her glass slipper known as Cinderella and the story that made us believe that there’s a genie in every lamp, Alladin. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an American children novel written by L. Frank Baum which tells the adventures of a young farm girl named Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their Kansas home by a tornado. Along with, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is displayed too which tells the story of a young girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, humanlike creatures.
Another in line is the European fairy tale about a young girl and a big bad wolf, Little Red Riding Hood. Who won’t forget the talking cat who was hiding against the law but eager to regain his honor and named for his signature pair of boots, Puss in Boots. The Little Prince is included in the lantern display but forgot to take a photo.
Seoul, Old Tales Come Alive
There are many famous Korean folk tales but honestly, I have never read any from these two. But as far as I remember, I’ve seen it on a Korean children tv program. Red Bean Porridge Granny and Tiger tells a story of an elderly woman who escapes a tiger’s threats with the help of various animals and tools like a wooden backpack carrier. To know about the story check the article below.
The Sun and the Moon is a tale about the origin of the sun and moon. The tiger ate up the mother of the girl and the boy after that the tiger went to their home so the two kids run-up to the backdoor and climbed up in a tree. The tiger climbed the tree after them and the brother and sister prayed to the heavens, upon which a metal chain was sent down for them and they climbed up to become the sun and the moon. The rest of the story will be written in the next articles.
Greek Mythology and Chinese Folk Tale
Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth, the god of the sea, horses, earthquakes, and storms. While A Magic Paint Brush – The Story of Ma Liang is a folk tale originated in China and was written by author Hong Xun Tao in 1955.
The Old Time Seoul
King Sejong is the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty and the third son of King Taejong and Queen consort Min. He ascended the throne in 1418. In his reign, he encouraged the people to live in the belief of Confucianism. He created ‘Hunminjeongeum‘ (훈민정음) which means ‘the right sound to teach the people ‘ and published in 1446. The original Korean alphabet has 17 consonants and 11 vowels which has a total of 28 letters. In 1997, UNESCO has named the prize as King Sejong the Great as a reward for developing a writing system which made the people learn to read and write. The name of the Korean Alphabet, Hangul started in 1910.
The Bell of King Seongdeok is a large bronze bell, the largest extant bell in Korea. It was built to pay tribute to the memory of King Seongdeok, the Silla’s 36th King. From an ancient legend, it was known as Emile Bell.
The left photo features the scene of the King and Queen together with their servants during the Joseon Dynasty while the right photo is about the Lovers under the Moonlight is a scene out of the painting by Shin Yun Bok from the Joseon Dynasty. This painting was one of the paintings from the Pungsokdo Album.
In Korea, there are only two traditional lion dance survived, it the saja-chum, which is usually performed in association with masked dramas and the saja-noreum is performed as an exorcism drama. During the Goryeo dynasty, the lion dance was done as an exorcism ritual to be performed in the New Year in Korea. The lion dance meant to expel bad spirits and attract good luck for the coming year.
Daegeum (large bamboo transverse flute) and Gayageum (traditional 12-ring instrument) are the Korean traditional musical instruments. Gayageum is one of the instruments that I really wanted to try and learn to play but I don’t have a time yet so maybe I’ll make a plan later on. It is an instrument that makes sounds when the strings are plucked and strummed. While Daegeum is a large bamboo transverse flute with a mouthpiece with a closed-end and a membrane hole.
Seoul, Our Fairy Tale Land
The theme is “Your Seoul, Light through Dream” (당신의 서울, 빛으로 꾸는 꿈) with the help of the official sponsors from Taiwan Visitors Association featuring the “Taiwan’s beautiful mountain range and lanterns”, China National Tourist Office, Seoul “China’s beautiful pandas and its friends”, and KEB Hana Bank’s “starlight tunnel on Mojeongyo bridge”.
Who would never know these two, the Statue of Liberty which is located in New York, United States? A colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island, 305 ft tall (about 93 cm) from the ground to the top of the torch. While the right photo is the massive sculpture carved into Mount Rushmore known as the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The sculpture is roughly 60-ft.-high granite faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Culture Station Seoul 284 was an old station and reopened as a Cultural Complex in 2011. This is an area for various programs such as performances, exhibitions, and performances. In 1900, it was changed from Namdaemun Station to Gyeongseong Station and Seoul Station to become the Culture Station Seoul 284 located at Seoul Station during this time.
The Street Car No. 381 is presently stood at the front of the Seoul Museum of History at Seodamun. Built by the Japan Vehicle Corporation which operated in Seoul in the 1930s and traveled the streets of Seoul for almost 38 years.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문 디자인 플라자) or DDP has an impressive structure of modern architecture. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, in 2014. The design from the outside is stunning and cool while the inside has the spectacular designs that continue with elaborate archways and fancy lighting.
The Oil Tank Culture Park is a park and a cultural complex located at the district of Mapo, Seoul. If you are a BTS fan, I bet you are dying to visit this place because this park was featured in the Run BTS Episode 87 and 88.
Traveling to Korea is not complete without visiting the most romantic place in Seoul. Namsan Tower is known for the filming locations of Korean dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Hwayugi and My Love From the Star. The tower is about 263.7m and the first tower in Korea to bring signals to TV and radio broadcastings.
- The weather is cold during this season, wear clothes that can keep you warm.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t forget to check out the street foods nearby and bring cash.
- If visiting with kids, please take good care of them.
- Don’t forget to bring your cameras.
How to get here?
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 4 or 5, walk straight for 3 mins.
Euljiro 1-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2 or 3, walk straight for 5 mins.
Euljiro 3-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 3), Exit 1, 2, 3, or 4, walk straight for 10 mins.
Jongno 3-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3), Exit 12, 13 or 14, walk straight for 10 mins.
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Annyeonghaseyo! I am Abby and currently living in Korea. In this blog where I will pen and share my thoughts, travels, experiences, and so much more. Hope you’ll follow me and don’t miss my post.