Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 – Lotus Lantern Festival 2016

More than one hundred thousand lotus lanterns lighting up Seoul night – don’t miss the magic Lotus Lantern Parade on Saturday May 7th from 7PM

Lotus Lantern Parade Seoul

The 2016 edition of Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 (Lotus Lantern Festival) will be held from May 6th to 8th with exhibition of traditional lanterns in various places such as Jogye-sa Temple or Cheonggyecheon stream.

The Lotus Lantern Parade stands out as the most colourful and memorable part of the festivity. This magical event draws participating crowds carrying tens of thousands of specially made, brightly lit lanterns in the shape of dragons, pagodas, white elephants, and lotus flowers down the street to the tune of Korean classical music. The procession is a must-see tradition both for kids and adults. The sidewalks along the parade route are always jam-packed with people, but if you come one hour before the start, you shall be able to find free seats along the main street.

Here is the detailed schedule:

  • Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns: May 6 ~ 15 Jogye-sa Temple and Cheonggyecheon stream
  • Eoulim madang (Buddhist Cheer Rally): May 7 (Sat) 4:30 pm Dongguk University Stadium
  • Lotus Lantern Parade: May 7 (Sat) 7:00 pm Jongno Street (Dongdaemun ~ Gwanghwamun Plaza)
  • Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration): May 16 (Sat) 9:30 ~11:00 pm Jonggak Intersection
  • Traditional Cultural Events: May 8 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00 pm Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Cultural Performances: May 8 (Sun) Noon ~ 6:00pm Gongpyung intersection
  • Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration): May 8 (Sun) 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong ~ Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple

For a wider selection of Parade pictures, see Flickr archives here.

Detailed information, itinerary and schedule available on Lotus Lantern festival official website.

 

Spring in the Baby Animals Farm (대관령아기동물농장)

Would you like to spend a day feeding and cuddling chicks, ducklings, puppies, calves, lambs and many more baby animals…? We found the perfect place. It’s the Baby Animals Farm 대관령아기동물농장 located in a beautiful setting very close to Yongpyong and Alpensia ski resorts

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2 days old piglets in Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm

Our kids were enjoying Spring break last week so we decided to return to the East Coast – one of our favourite destinations in Korea.

Despite the chilly weather and some snow on the road, we enjoyed fresh air and windy days on the beach. Our very last day, on the way back home, we stopped by Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm. Initially it was supposed to be just a quick stop to cut the journey but we ended up spending the whole afternoon in the farm and no one didn’t really want to leave:-)

 

 

Right at the entrance we were welcomed by freshly hatched chicks, ducklings and quails. The kids were delighted to touch the soft cute baby poultry and feed them. We spent a long time cuddling baby bunnies and puppies, feeding the nimble squirrels and colourful budgies and we even experienced petting hedgehogs while wearing protective gloves😀

 

At a second station we found baby calves, kids (baby goats), lambs and the cutest 2 days old piglets. It was an amazing experience to bottle-feed the newborn calves and have fun with the playful baby goats.

 

Our next stop was in the stable. After feeding the hungry horses with hay the kids wanted to ride them. For an extra charge of 15,000 KRW you can ride a pony or horse. The outdoor circuit is beautiful with view of the mountains and the kids really enjoyed watching the surroundings from the saddle.

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We finished a perfect afternoon trying to catch the geese in the vast field. It was so much fun!

The Baby Animals Farm was definitely one of the highlights of our Spring break holidays and everyone – little ones and grown ups – seized the day.

 

How to get there:

Gangwondo Pyeongchang Daegwallyeong Hoenggyeri 262-21

강원도 평창군 대관령면 횡계리 262-21

Opening hours:

  • April – October 8:30 – 5:30
  • November – March 9:00 -4:30

Admission: 7,000 KRW (food for animals included)

Information: Tel. 033-336-3579

For more information, check the Korean website.

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Seollal weekend in and around Seoul

Seollal (Lunar New Year) is right around the corner! Are you staying in Seoul for the long weekend and wondering how to keep the whole family entertained? Here are a few good tips for you…

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Experience Seollal traditions

To experience Seollal traditions and enjoy the Lunar New Year atmosphere, a visit to Korean Folk Village in Yongin is highly recommended. The great news is that they are just running New Year’s Fortune Party (from January 30 through February 10th, 2016). The program is packed with plenty of interesting traditional events, performances and experiences like burning daljip (traditional moon house), fortune telling, sharing rice cakes, making fortune bags and many others. You can check details here.

Namsangol Hanok VillageNamsangol Hanok Village

Every year the Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul also holds a great variety of events, such as traditional performances, folk games and seasonal festivities. For the detailed program of the Lunar New Year festival (February 8-9, 2016) go here.

In the Kingdom of Lights

During the long winter season many parks and gardens are organising impressive lighting festivals. You can check Garden of Morning Calm and its 9th Garden Lighting Festival running until March 13th, 2016 or Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical garden Lighting Festival until March 6, 2016. Another place holding a light festival is Aiins World Park. They have prepared a special program including a magic show during the whole Seollal weekend.

 

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Ice Fishing

If you missed the Hwacheon Mountain Trout Festival this year (it just finished last weekend on January 31st), you can still try your fishing skills and enjoy many others winter fun activities at Cheongpyeong snow flake festival. It runs until February 10th, 2016 and you can find more information here.

Another one is Mulmalgeun Yangpyeong Icefish Festival running until February 21st, 2016 if weather conditions allow.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Ice gallery

Skiing

Even if you didn’t book your overnight stay in advance, Seollal is the best moment to go just for a day trip to one of the many ski resorts around Seoul. Spend a wonderful sunny day on ski, snowboard or just sledding and playing in the snow.

Vivaldi Park

Other winter fun

As you know we love Anseong Farm every season of the year. We just learned that they are running a Winter festival until February 14, 2016. Beside the regular farming activities you can also enjoy snow and ice-sledding!

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Traditional sledding

And if it is not too cold you can always go to the nature for a walk. Isn’t it the best feeling to spend a few hours in the freezing weather enjoying the frosted nature getting slowly ready for spring? The places we particularly enjoy in winter are Namhansanseong or Dasan Earth Park.

Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden
Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden

 

Happy Seollal and enjoy this special celebration time with your family and friends! 

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