Lotus Lantern Parade and Yeon Deung Hoe Festival 2015

More than one hundred thousand lotus lanterns lighting up Seoul night – don’t miss the magic Lotus Lantern Parade Saturday May 16th from 6PM

Lotus Lantern Parade Seoul

The 2015 edition of Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 (Lotus Lantern Festival) will be held from May 15th to 17th with exhibition of traditional lanterns in various places such as Jogye-sa Temple or Bongeun-sa Temple.

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 15 ~ 26 Jogye-sa or Bongeun-sa Temple
  • Eoulim madang (Buddhist Cheer Rally): May 16 (Sat) 3:30 pm Dongguk University Stadium
  • Lotus Lantern Parade: May 16 (Sat) 6:00 pm Jongno Street (Dongdaemun ~ Gwanghwamun Plaza)
  • Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration): May 16 (Sat) 9:30 ~11:00 pm Gwanghwamun Plaza
  • Traditional Cultural Events: May 17 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00 pm Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Cultural Performances: May 17 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00pm Performance Stage on the street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration): May 17 (Sun) 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong ~ Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Ceremony & Lantern Lighting: May 25 (Tue) Dharma Ceremony 10 am Jogye-sa Temple and all temples nationwide

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

Map Lotus Lantern Festival

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

Flowers, paddle boats, music and Lego playtime at International Horticulture Goyang Festival

Take a family trip to the Goyang Horticulture Festival, along the Ilsan Lake, devoted to the latest creations in flower varieties and  packed with family activities… Only until May 10, 2015

Hello Kitty floating island, Ilsan Lake, International Horticulture Goyang Festival

In the heart of Ilsan City and directly accessible by subway, the Lake Park is a convenient spot for weekend picnics or a gentle walk around the lake. In April and May, it is particularly nice as it is covered with a variety of seasonal flowers: cherry blossoms, azaleas, tulips, etc. You may also return in other seasons to admire the Autumn foliage or sled and ice-skate in Winter! You may enjoy walking paths up to 7.5km and nearly 5km of biking lanes. The night music fountain bordering the lake is a local attraction on its own (Apr~May, Sept~Oct: weekend + holidays 7:30~8:30PM; Jun~Aug: daily 8:30~9:30PM).

In other words, you may enjoy the Lake area almost all year round but you might particularly head there right now until May 10, 2015 for the renowned International Horticulture Goyang Festival.

The festival hosts activities and exhibits from 25 countries in various garden-themes booths or outdoor areas. Larger pavilions include the World Flower Pavilion showcasing international varieties of tulips, roses, orchids and more, or the Multimedia Harmony Pavilion, combining lightning effects. Besides the indoor areas (which were a bit disappointing in our opinion), we appreciated a lot more the outdoor thematic gardens such as the Metallophones playing area or the garden-in-a-container artistic creation.

You may also enjoy some cultural activities including music and dance performances, crafts (soap or candle making) or paddle boats on the lake itself.  For our kids, the best part was certainly the Lego booth where they could play and create freely at their own pace. The booth holds exhibits from all main lines of Lego products: Duplo, Friends, Ninjago, StarWars, etc.

On the festival’s premises, limited food-and-beverage options are available (snacks, hot-dogs and alike). More diversity can be found in the back streets out of the festival area in the city itself.

How to get there:
[Subway] Jeongbalsan Station Exit 2 [Line No.3 for Daehwa] +5min. walk in the direction of Lake Park.

Admission: 8,000 KRW (Foreigners only), Free under 4-year-old

Information: Tel. 031-908-7642~3

For more information, check International Horticulture Goyang Korea website.

Goyang Horticulture Festival borchure

Goyang Festival Map

For localisation, see our Seoul Map for Kids and Families

International Horticulture Goyang Festival

Goryeosan Azalea Festival… Pink, Magenta, Purple Extravaganza until April 30, 2015

Spring’s beauty at its best: end of April, Goryeosan mountain on Ganghwa-do is covered with pink and magenta azaleas (진달래) in full bloom. This year’s festival runs until April 30, 2015 – don’t miss it!

Goryeosan Azalae Festival
Goryeosan is the highest mountain of Ganghwa-do island, near Incheon. It has an elevation of 436 m, high enough to provide spendid panoramas yet still manageable for a family hike. There are five official hiking paths generally in the intermediate difficulty levels.

Each year, a festival is held end of April to celebrate the blooming azaleas which literally cover entirely the highest part of the mountain. Views from the top are breathtaking and make for perfect colourful snapshots! Things can get a bit crowded during the festival’s weekend days so rather come early.

The main draw to the festival is to enjoy the hike, walking on the wooden path at the mountain’s top and to celebrate the beautiful azaleas. Depending on the hiking course, you may also come across nice buddhist temples. Don’t expect many other attractions or activities even though some food stalls are usually available for a light lunch near the top.

How to get there:

  • Bus 3000 from Sinchon Rotary to Gangwha terminal (33 stops, 2h approximately), then local buses available or about 4km to the nearest hiking start (Kukhwari village, 국화리마을)
  • By car: about 60 km away for Seoul centre, expect 1h30. Ganghwa island is connected by bridge.

Hiking paths & address:

Goryeosan hiking courses

#1- North-east: Baekryeonsa, 3.7km, 1h20 – 강화군 하점면 강화대로 994-19 (하점면 부근리 350)

#2- South-east: Cheongryeonsa, 2.9km, 1h – 강화군 강화읍 고비고개로 188  (강화읍 국화리 599-2)

#3- South: Gobigogae, 2.4km, 1h – 강화군 내가면 고천리 산145-1

#4- South-west: Jeokseoksa, 5.2km, 1h50 – 강화군 내가면 연촌길8 (내가면 고천리 251)

#5- West: Mikkujigogae, 5.8km, 2h – 강화군 하점면 강화서로 511 (하점면 망월리 371-1)

For more information, check the official Festival website (in Korean only)

For localisation, go to Seoul Map for Kids & Families