Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Seoul Day 3 - Experiencing the Seoul Lantern Festival 2012 at Cheonggyecheon

Earlier that day, I heard from my walking tour guide about the Seoul Lantern Festival. She said that it would be a nice experience for me to drop by the Cheonggyecheon area for this event.

I welcomed this suggestion and went there after having a hearty dinner. Since this was near Insadong, I simply walked over to the place. While on my way, I imagined the festival installations to be purely made of traditional themed lanterns. However, once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many larger than life lantern installations – most of them depicting cultural or historical themes of Korea.  

Seoul Lantern Festival 2012

I took my time to examine most of the lanterns displayed at the center of the stream. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking for this one.

man and woman

family picnic

kite flying

traditional orchestra


taken captive

palace gates

At the top of the waterfall, you can find the largest installation. It was a miniature version of historical Seoul. Such a great piece of art if you ask me! The effort that went to this creation was superb. You can see all the intricate details which make the whole thing seem so real.

city of Seoul

Apart from gazing at these beautifully made lanterns, there are other activities to try out at the festival.

At the plaza underneath one of the bridges, there are many stalls where you can buy festival memorabilia.


Also, you can make a wish for a small donation. Attendants here will give you a yellow strip of paper in the shape of a dragon’s scale where you can write your wish. Afterwards, you paste it onto the wired dragon shaped structure. As this is a lantern festival, these dragons are displayed and light up too with everybody’s wishes! A good way to leave an imprint here at Seoul if you ask me!

dragon made of wishes

Another way to make a wish is via the floating lanterns. Of course, these come with a small donation as well. Attendants will give you a small floating lantern where you can write your wish. Then, you can release it at the stream for the water to make your dreams into reality. I find this very artistic and sentimental at the same time.

floating wish lanterns

For those who are looking for a vacation of some sort, there are booths that promote travel too. I even stumbled into a booth showcasing my country, the Philippines. As the booth was drawing in lots of the crowd, I went in to see what the commotion was about. Apparently, they were raffling out Philippine souvenir items. It was really cool to see that the Philippines is making such a hype here in Korea!

Philippine Tourism booth

Oh yeah, as I also joined the raffle, I won this neat looking umbrella with the imprint of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. A great local souvenir from a foreign land!

"it's more fun in the Philippines" umbrella

This lantern festival in Seoul sure made my trip more delightful as I got to experience a lively part of local culture.

Were you amazed with the beauty of these gigantic lanterns like I was? Perhaps you've been here too during the festival? Tell me about your experiences by commenting below or by using the Contact button on the right.

Up next, Culture seeking at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Want to discover more about my 5 Days and 4 Nights in Seoul, South Korea? Just click the link.


  1. Haven't been on any festival. These are really beautiful photos! Love the hues. =D

    1. thanks. appreciate it! :) try going, i think it's a yearly event.

  2. hey, may I know the exact day of this festival?
    I'm going to Seoul this november. thanks a lot :)

    1. Hi Jey! thanks for dropping by. You can check for more information on the exact dates. From what I know, it changes yearly but occurs late October to the month of November.

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