Flower festivals in full bloom across Korea
With spring’s warmer breezes in the air, the cherry blossoms, cornelian cherries, azaleas, plum blossoms and canola flowers are now blooming across the Korean Peninsula, their white, yellow and cherry-pink petals coloring the landscape as far as the eye can see.
Naturally, people are spending more time outdoors during the weekends, to take in the flowering countryside and to spend time in the sun. During a time when everyone’s hearts are full of springtime joy, a wide variety of spring flower festivals are taking place nationwide to welcome the festive season. Jeollanam-do Province launched the season with the annual Gwangyang Maehwa Festival with its plum blossoms in full bloom. This was followed by the Gurye Sansuyu Festival, where tides of yellow cornelian cherry flowers danced in the sunshine.
The Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival is the biggest festival of its kind in Korea, welcoming over 1 million visitors to the event each year.
If you happened to miss Gwangyang’s plum blossoms and Gurye’s cornelian cherry flowers, there’s no need to be too disappointed, as there are still a number of breathtaking springtime festivals on their way this year.
The 54th annual Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival will start on April 1. This annual festival is held in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, a region known for its cherry blossoms. With over 360,000 cherry blossom trees lining the streets, creating an endless tunnel of fragrant white and pink petals, this festival also attracts up to 1 million visitors each year.
The Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival starts on the same day as the Jinhae festival. There you can enjoy fields of Jeju Island’s indigenous cherry blossom flowers.
If you’re based in Seoul, you don’t have to travel all the way to Jinhae or to Jeju Island to frolic in a breeze of white cherry blossom petals. The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is scheduled this year from April 4 to April 10 along the main Yunjung-ro Street on Yeouido. With over 1,600 cherry blossom trees lining the 1.7-kilometer street, you will feel as though the entire sky has been covered with flowers. These streets are just as beautiful during the day as they are during the night, when the streetlamps and specially installed lights illuminate the scenery.
If you are a fan of azaleas, there are festivals at Wonmi Mountain in Bucheon, at Goryeo Mountain in Ganghwa Island and at Yeongchwisan Mountain in Yeosu.At the Wonmi Mountain in Bucheon, over 150,000 azalea plants paint the mountainside with hues of vibrant pink at the Wonmi Mountain Azalea Festival that starts on April 9 this year.
Meanwhile, at Yeongchwisan Mountain in Yeosu, another azalea festival will unfold over three days against a colorful landscape of rolling hills, starting on April 1. As one of the three biggest natural habitats for wild azaleas, Yeongchwisan Mountain is covered from the middle altitudes to the peak with azaleas between 30 to 40 years in age. For the best views of the azaleas from Yeongchwisan’s peak, it’s a good idea to climb the trail from Heungguksa Temple to the top of Bongu Hill, and then to climb down from the 450 meter mark to the neighborhood of Sangamdong below.
Finally, the Gorryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival begins on April 12 on Ganghwado Island. Once you follow the steps up to 436 meters above sea level, you can take in an entire mountain range dyed in pink and purple hues, as well as the Yellow Sea on the horizon in the distance.
By Lee Hana
Korea.net Staff Writer
Photos: Jeon Han, Changwon City, Ganghwa-gun County