Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lantern Festival at Jinju

A friend invited us to go to the Lantern Festival in Jinju which was about an hour and a half drive from Daegu. We decided to go for the day instead of spending the night.

Walking through a tunnel of lanterns.

We went early in the afternoon so of course the lanterns were not lit up yet. Even so, the festival still offered a lot of things to do. Not to mention it was still quite impressive to see the massive displays of lanterns on and off the water.

Notice that Superman has blond hair, but in fact his character had dark hair.

There was a section of superheroes. 

Our friend Lena who is an English teacher I met at my Korean language class.
This next photo was a field of the Chinese zodiac. Each wire form was covered with notes from well wishers that were hoping to have their hopes and dreams come true once they posted it on the statue.

Jensen found an area full of rocks. Of course, he was mostly interested in playing there and throwing the rocks around.

This fortress was accessible by crossing the river on a make shift bridge. Here is an excerpt from a tourism site about the history of this festival:

"Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom used during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading the Namgang River. The highlights of the festival are the floating of lanterns carrying personal wishes of the citizens along the Namgang River, and the parade of lanterns created by the students themselves. In addition, the festival features gaejesik (lighting of lanterns in remembrance of the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle veterans), an exhibition of the world’s traditional lanterns."

Here is the bridge we used to cross the river.

Here are the ambulances that were parked near one of the tunnel of lanterns. Notice the number used for emergency calls is just our 911 backwards. At least it's easy to remember. 

Since my Chinese zodiac sign is the Tiger, had to get a photo near this lantern. Wish I had seen it after dark. 

One of the many things I wanted to get before leaving Korea, was a stamp of my name in Korean. I noticed that when my landlady signed our lease agreement, she used a stamp in addition to her signature. This gentleman had a booth that custom made each stamp. He even carved my English name on the side of the stamp. 

He requested a photos of us with him and showing off his work.
There was a booth where you can make your own lanterns and write your wishes on it before launching it out on the river. I wished for long life, health and prosperity for my family.

Here we are with our lanterns and wishes.

Finally, after grabbing some dinner the sun started to set and the lanterns were slowly turning the fortress into a beautiful wonderland of lights.

Entrance to the fortress.

Line of soldier lanterns leading up to a summit.

They also held a competition for artists to show their skills at making their own lanterns. These two were my favorites. 

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