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Festivals Calendar - October 2016

All News 15:03 September 30, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- The following are the major cultural and tourist festivals scheduled to be held in South Korea in October.

* Andong International Mask Dance Festival

When: Sept. 30- Oct. 9

Where: Andong and Hahoe Village, North Gyeongsang Province

Historically, the mask dance has been used to indirectly criticize the "yangban" class, or the ruling elite of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), by the common people.

Direct criticism of the yangban was strictly forbidden during that time, so the common people satirized the yangban from behind masks, developing the craft into various forms of mask dance with regional variations.

Visitors to Hahoe Village, one of the two South Korean villages recently added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, can see the villages' Confucian cultural characteristics.

For more information, call 054-840-6397~8 or visit the website at www.maskdance.com.

* Geumsan Insam (Ginseng) Festival

When: Sept. 24-Oct. 3

Where: Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province

Geumsan is famous for its high-quality ginseng. The Insam Festival, held every September since 1981, is a traditional cultural event in which villagers pray for a good harvest the following year. Programs include ginseng harvesting, performances of traditional arts and rituals, concerts, an international ginseng trade fair, a ginseng cooking competition and more.

For more information, visit the festival's website at http://www.insamfestival.co.kr/html/kr/index.html or call 041-750-2413.

* Jeonju International Sori Festival

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 3

Where: Jeonju City

Sori is a Korean word referring to archetypal human voices with which humans communicate with nature and the universe. It also refers to the combination of the human voice and instrumental sounds, which forms Korea's musical heritage. The annual Jeonju Sori festival blends Korea's musical heritage, including pansori performances developed in the ancient city of Jeonju, with the world. Music lovers will have an opportunity to experience the music of Korea and the world. More information is available at www.sorifestival.com or by calling 063-232-8398.

* Pine Mushroom Festival

When: Sept. 30-Oct. 3

Where: Namdaecheon Stream Event area, Yangyang, Gangwon Province

Known to many as "golden mushrooms," "diamonds in the woods" or "mystic and magical mushrooms," songi mushrooms that naturally grow under old pine trees are strictly prohibited from public access. However, at the Pine Mushroom Festival, visitors may tour the natural habitat of these luxurious and precious mushrooms, pick them and sample dishes made with them.

For more information, call 033-1330 or log onto the website (song-i.yangyang.go.kr).

* Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival

When: Oct. 8-9

Where: Hwaseong Haenggung, Yeonmudae and other places in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province

Celebrating its 53rd anniversary this year, the Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival is one of the largest culture and tourism festivals in Korea. Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, situated about 50 kilometers south of Seoul, is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and commemorates the filial affection and innovations of King Jeongjo, the 22nd monarch of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), who built the fortress. Over the years, the Hwaseong Cultural Festival has become established as a quintessential regional cultural festival that promotes the traditional culture and arts of Suwon. Events will include re-enactments of King Jeongjo's parade to the royal tomb and a citizens' parade, a liquor-serving ceremony for royal ancestors and a re-enactment of Queen Hyegyeonggung Hong's 60th birthday feast. For more information, call 031-290-3564 or visit the website (shcf.kr).

* Seoul International Fireworks Festival

When: Oct. 8

Where: Han River Park, Seoul

Constellations of fireworks will light up the autumn sky over the Han River that bisects Seoul on Oct. 8. The show will feature firework displays by three professional teams from Japan, Spain and South Korea from 7:20 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For more information, call 1330 or visit the website (hanwhafireworks.com).

* Busan Jagalchi Festival

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 2

Where: Busan Jagalchi Market

Jagalchi Market is the largest fish and marine product market in Korea and a symbol of Busan, the country's largest port city. The huge size and bustling, lively atmosphere make visiting Jagalchi Market a unique experience for many visitors. Small food stalls serve fresh inshore hagfish grilled on briquette fires along with other unusual sea creatures and sashimi at market prices.

For more information, call 051-243-9363 or log onto the website (www.ijagalchi.kr).

* Ganggyeong Jeotgal (Salted Seafood) Festival

When: Oct. 12-16

Where: Ganggyeong port, Jeotgal Market, Jeotgal Exhibition Hall, etc., in Ganggyeong, South Chungcheong Province

Salt-fermented seafood, or jeotgal in Korean, refers to fish and shellfish whose meat and internal organs are fermented with salt to keep them from spoiling. Ganggyeong, a fishing village on the west coast, is famous for jeotgal. During the festival, visitors can buy salted seafood at discounted prices of up to 30-40 percent.

For more information, check out the website (www.ggfestival.co.kr) or call 041-746-5662.

*Icheon Rice Cultural Festival

When: Oct. 19-23

Where: Seolbong Park, Icheon, Gyeonggi Province

For thousands of years, rice has been the key staple grain for Korean people, and Icheon, a town south of Seoul, is famous for its high-quality rice that was served to the kings and queens of Korea. Programs will include a re-enactment of the parade that transported rice to Hanseong (the old name for Seoul) to present to the king, a huge rice cauldron that is capable of feeding thousands of people and a straw crafting contest. Various performances of traditional music, dance and folk plays will entertain visitors, who will also have the chance to buy this year's crop of Icheon rice and experience traditional agricultural in the farm town.

For more information, call 031-644-4125 or log onto the website (www.ricefestival.or.kr).

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