Holidays, Festivals, and Events

2019 Seoul Lantern Festival: Your Seoul, Light your Dream

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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 the lanterns starting from Cheonggyecheon Square to Supyogyo Bridge.

The 2019 Seoul Lantern Festival carries the theme “Your Seoul, Light Your Dream“. 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’s novel written by  L. Frank Baum which tells the adventures of a young farm girl named Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz. 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.

One of my favorite children’s stories, Little Red Riding Hood and the Puss in Boots were also displayed at the Seoul Lantern Festival.

Seoul, Old Tales Come Alive

The Red Bean Porridge Granny and Tiger tells a story of an elderly woman who escapes a tiger’s threats with the help of animals and tools like a wooden backpack carrier. To know about the story check the article below.

READ: [Korean Folktale] The Red Bean Porridge Grandma and the Tiger 

The Sun and the Moon is a tale about the origin of the sun and moon. The tiger ate the mother of the two kids and went to their home. They were so afraid so they run to the back door and climbed up in a tree. The tiger also climbed into the tree while the two kids were praying. A metal chain came down, they climbed up and became the sun and the moon.

Greek Mythology and Chinese Folk Tale

Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was the god of the sea, horses, earthquakes, and storms.

A Magic Paint Brush – The Story of Ma Liang is a folk tale that was originally from China and written by author Hong Xun Tao in 1955.

The Old Time Seoul

King Sejong, 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.

King Sejong created ‘Hunminjeongeum‘ (훈민정음) and was published in 1446 which means ‘the right sound to teach the people ‘. The original Korean alphabet has 17 consonants and 11 vowels which has a total of 28 letters.  In 1997, UNESCO has named the prize King Sejong the Great as a reward for developing a writing system that made the people learn to read and write.  The name of the Korean Alphabet, Hangul started in 1910.

READ: Hangeul Day: Celebration of the Korean Alphabet

The Bell of King Seongdeok is a large bronze bell, the largest extant bell in Korea. It was built in the memory of King Seongdeok, the Silla’s 36th King and was known as Emile Bell.

We used to see the above scenario through Korean ancient dramas where the King and Queen walk together with their guards and servants.

This one 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 dances that survived. The saja-chum, which is usually performed in association with masked dramas, and the saja-noreum is performed as an exorcism drama. IT was usually performed during New Year in Korea especially in the Goryeo dynasty. The lion dance is 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 Korean traditional musical instruments. The Gayageum is one of the traditional instruments of Korea, it creates sounds when plucked or strummed. The Daegeum is a transverse flute made in bamboo which has a closed-end mouthpiece 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 which has 305 ft tall (about 93 cm) from the ground to the top of the torch. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a 60ft high in real life where faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt were sculptured.

Culture Station Seoul 284 was an old station and reopened as a Cultural Complex in 2011. It is popular in some performances and exhibitions. In 1900, it was changed from Namdaemun Station to Gyeongseong Station.

Street Car No. 381 is currently located at the front of the Seoul Museum of History at Seodamun. It was built by the Japan Vehicle Corporation which operated in Seoul in the 1930s and traveled the streets of Seoul for almost 38 years.

READ: Seoul Museum of History: Traces of the City

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문 디자인 플라자) or DDP has an impressive structure of modern architecture. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, in 2014.

READ: Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park in Seoul

The Oil Tank Culture Park is a park and a cultural complex located in the district of Mapo, Seoul. If you are a BTS fan, I bet you are familiar with this park where the Run BTS Episodes 87 and 88 were filmed.

Namsan Tower is the most visited tourist spot in Seoul. The filming location of the Korean Dramas Boys Over FlowersHwayugi, 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.

Tips!

  • 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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Xoxo, Hyejin 

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3 Replies to “2019 Seoul Lantern Festival: Your Seoul, Light your Dream”

  1. Wow ang saya saya pala ng ganitong lantern festival ng seoul , super colorful ng mga lights , sure na ngayong 2021 magnda dn ito , kaya nkaka excite ❤️

  2. How I wish to experience this Seoul Lantern festival 😍🤗
    So exciting and for sure enjoyable.
    Thank you for sharing this blog.
    I enjoyed reading

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