Korean Festivals

Welcome to the vibrant world of Korean festivals!
Using data from Google Trends,
we've identified the top 10 most celebrated Korean festivals.

Top 10 festivals ranking in 2019
Trend of Top 10 festivals in 2019
Top 5 festival trend of 2019
Top 10 festival ranking 2023
Top 5 festival trend in 2023

Top 10 Festivals

No.1 Fireworks - Seoul International Fireworks Festival

Immerse yourself in the sparkling spectacle of the Seoul International Fireworks Festival, held annually in October. This dazzling event, set within the metropolitan heart of Seoul at Yeouido Hangang Park, brings a visual symphony of fireworks against the city's skyline. There's no need for fuss or frills - just journey to the park, find your spot, and let the explosive colors in sync with rhythmic melodies elevate your senses. While numerous suggestions for the "ideal" viewing spots may circulate online, the true magic lies in the main event area where the fireworks and music become a unified experience. Join us as we continue to explore the enchanting world of Korean festivals.

Click on the link to access the comprehensive article about the Fireworks Festival.

No.2 Autumn Leaves - Gyeongbokgung Palace

Embrace the beauty of autumn in Korea as the leaves put on their mesmerizing display of red, yellow, and brown hues. This spectacle is not just a shift in color, but a transformation born from the break down of chlorophyll and the creation of anthocyanin in the leaves.

Autumn in Korea is not merely about the aesthetic appeal of the changing colors. It's a reflection of time passing, triggering introspection as the once lush greenery takes on warmer tones, a phenomenon that has been capturing the imagination of poets, painters, and musicians alike for centuries. The soulful allure of autumn's palette transcends the everyday, leaving an unforgettable impression on both locals and visitors.

Why is Korean autumn so unique? It's a symphony of factors. The brilliance of autumn foliage depends on a delicate balance of temperature, sunlight, and moisture, making Korea's distinct four-season climate an ideal stage for this natural performance. From the vibrant maple leaves at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul to the vast forested expanses of Seoraksan and Naejangsan, the Korean landscape offers an autumnal feast for the senses.

Click on the link to access the comprehensive article about "Top 15 Autumn Leaves Spots in Seoul 2023: Where Did Everyone Search the Most?"
Click on the link to access the comprehensive article about "Experience Autumn Leaves at Korea's 20 Most Beautiful Temples".

No.3 Water Bomb Festival - Jamsil Sports Complex Auxiliary Stadium

Immerse yourself in WaterBomb, Korea's largest music and water-themed festival, which is a vibrant spectacle offering a fusion of K-POP, hip-hop, and EDM performances, complemented with large-scale water-based productions. Since its inauguration in August 2015, it has been a recurrent feature every summer in June and July.

The festival kicks off at the Seoul Olympic Stadium in a special area known as 'WaterBomb Seoul', marking the beginning of a tour across eight different cities in Korea, namely Jeju, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon. By 2023, the festival plans to extend its reach, creating a wave of excitement in Japan and Thailand.

WaterBomb is more than just a festival - it's a thrilling blend of music, competition, and fun that encapsulates the spirit of summer. Here, you can be mesmerized by stunning K-POP performances and electrifying Korean DJ sets, engage in dynamic water fights, and experience the overwhelming thrill of WaterBomb Time. When you need a breather from the action, the Tropical Lounge awaits you with relaxation zones and photo opportunities. For a more luxurious experience, unwind in the VVIP Lounge, which offers comfortable seating, champagne, and finger foods. Come and embrace this unique celebration of music, water, and summer at WaterBomb!

No.4 Cherry Blossom Festival - Jinhae Gunhangje Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a radiant celebration of spring in Korea, transforming landscapes with delicate pink and white petals. These flowers symbolize purity and fleeting beauty and are celebrated across Korea in over 200 events. Major celebrations like the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival in Changwon and the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival in Seoul provide engaging activities like picnics under blossoming trees and various performances.

However, these popular festivals can be crowded. For a peaceful experience and photo opportunities, consider exploring the outskirts of the main festival areas. The peak bloom typically spans late March to early April, painting an unforgettable, picturesque landscape. Despite their small size, the clustered blossoms create a lavish spectacle, akin to soft pink snowflakes, making them an iconic symbol of Korean spring.

Click on the link to access the comprehensive article about "Top Instagram-Worthy Cherry Blossom Hotspots in Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, and Incheon".
Click on the link to access the comprehensive article about "Top Instagram-Worthy Cherry Blossom Hotspots in Busan, Jeju Island, and Across KoreaTop Instagram-Worthy Cherry Blossom Hotspots in Busan, Jeju Island, and Across Korea".

No.5 Film Festival - Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)

A film festival is an event showcasing a plethora of cinematic works over a specific duration, offering movie lovers a chance to binge on a diverse array of films. In Korea, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), started in 1996, is the country's largest non-competitive film festival and one of the most representative in Asia. BIFF prides itself on inviting a wide genre of films, including Hollywood productions, Cannes, Berlin, Sundance award winners, animations, indie films, art films, and short films.

Beyond viewing films, the festival also includes various auxiliary programs, such as discussions with famous directors. It also serves as a film market, a platform for industry professionals to exchange information, negotiate investments, and trade distribution rights. The festival often previews films before their release, offering both promotional benefits and opportunities for distribution deals abroad.

No.6 Rose Festival - Everland Rose Festival

Across Korea, numerous rose festivals bloom each year, each offering its own unique celebration of this majestic flower. Among these events, the Everland Rose Festival is the most renowned. Hosted by Everland, the nation's largest theme park, the event is a testament to Everland's years-long dedication to the cultivation of roses. Everland has fostered a special bond with roses since 2013, conducting over 1500 artificial hybridizations annually and developing 28 unique rose varieties.

Everland's collection of roses caters to all preferences, ranging from common local varieties such as the "Paul's Scarlet Climber" to more globally recognized breeds like the English Roses by British expert David Austin. Additionally, Everland creates its own rose varieties under the "Everose" brand, which sells out in mere minutes every spring season due to their immense popularity. One of the most famous is the "Perfume Everscape," which has garnered international recognition, winning the highest honor at the International Rose Competition.

The Everland Rose Festival, held from May to early June, draws thousands of visitors annually. This festival provides an opportunity to revel in the breathtaking beauty and unique fragrance of numerous rose varieties. Whether you're a rose enthusiast or simply a lover of natural beauty, the Everland Rose Festival is a must-visit event in Korea's festival calendar.

No.7 Culture Festival - Baekje Cultural Festival

Culture festivals in Korea, often organized by local governments, wonderfully bring to life the country's rich historical narratives and heritage. High-profile events such as the Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival and the Baekje Cultural Festival, held in Gongju and Buyeo of Chungnam province, provide attendees with an immersive journey into the vibrant tapestry of Korea's past. These festivals, distinct from cultural properties, serve as living testaments to Korea's timeless traditions and history.

Among these, the Baekje Cultural Festival holds a unique position. Celebrated annually for the past 69 years, this festival pays tribute to the rich heritage of the ancient Kingdom of Baekje. Initially a modest ceremony in Buyeo, the former Baekje capital, intended to console the spirits of the fallen kingdom, the festival has since evolved significantly. It experienced a transformational moment when the Baekje Historic Areas were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015. This accolade catapulted the event into a grand celebration that unites descendants of Baekje and global tourists alike.

In 2023, from September 23 to October 9, the festival, under the theme "Great Baekje, Connecting with the World," promises to elevate the experience even further. This event is set to illuminate the global cultural influence of Baekje through a variety of attractions, including digital art shows, water hologram shows, and eco-friendly programs. Through such vibrant, hands-on experiences, attendees get to witness and participate in the cultural legacy that continues to shape Korea's identity.

No.8 Night Traveling - Jeongdong Night Walk

Korea's cultural heritage springs to life in an entirely new light once the sun sets, offering a truly enchanting experience. These treasures of history and the surrounding cultural facilities combine to create "Cultural Heritage Night," an immersive program designed to activate regional tourism through a variety of historical and cultural experiences.

This unique initiative links local cultural heritage and surrounding cultural contents like museums and art galleries to provide night-time cultural experiences. It features a diverse range of experiences, from intangible cultural heritage performances, traditional games, and historical experiences to traditional food and cultural lodging experiences. It's an opportunity to travel back in time under the moonlight and starlight that has illuminated the land for thousands of years.

One of the standout offerings is the Jeongdong Night Walk. Jeongdong, the heart of Korea's modern and contemporary history and a crucible of culture, offers a selection of night programs for visitors to soak in the autumn night's ambiance. Jeongdong, home to religious facilities, modern-style schools, public offices, hospitals, and judicial institutions, holds the title of being the epicenter of modern culture in Korea. The Jeongdong Night Walk is an event conducted in collaboration with the Jeongdong Community to re-establish Jeongdong as a cultural hub. Visitors can enjoy various events and activities.

No.9 Biennale - Gwangju Biennale

Derived from the Italian phrase meaning 'every two years' (bi+annual), a Biennale typically refers to an international art exhibition held every two years. While not all art exhibitions follow this biennial schedule, the term Biennale is most often associated with such events. Characterized by a focus on contemporary rather than classical art, these exhibitions offer a platform for showcasing cutting-edge creativity.

Known as the 'Olympics of the art world,' the Biennale differs from the sports event in a critical aspect – it emphasizes individual artists rather than national teams. The world-renowned Gwangju Biennale, one of Korea's premier art events, owes its early establishment and success in the global art scene to the foresight of Nam June Paik. An early pioneer of media art who was well-versed in the operations of renowned Biennales like the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennale, Paik provided substantial advice for the operation of the Gwangju Biennale. Moreover, at a time when concepts like video art and media art were not widely recognized, Paik introduced the 'Info Art' theme at the Gwangju Biennale, featuring works by his students and foreign colleagues.

No.10 Pentaport Rock Festival

Held annually between July and August in Incheon Metropolitan City, Pentaport Rock Festival is a cherished summer tradition for rock music lovers. Named "Pentaport," signifying five ports that embody Incheon's urban development strategy, the festival symbolizes Incheon Airport, Incheon Harbor, Info Port, Business Port, and Leisure Port. The accessibility to the festival has significantly improved over the years, with the venue being about a 20-minute walk from the International Business District Station on Incheon Urban Railway Line 1. However, the extension to Songdo Moonlight Festival Park Station has further increased the accessibility. Notably, due to new apartments constructed in the vicinity after 2019, public transport accessibility improved with the extension of Incheon buses 103-1 and Circulation 92 routes, providing even more options for festival-goers.

2022's Pentaport was the first large-scale rock festival post-COVID, and it experienced unprecedented success, drawing a record 150,000 audience members, despite a leaner and more biased lineup than in previous years. This overwhelming response was a clear indication of the pent-up demand among rock music enthusiasts. The performances by the musicians were also well-received and highly praised.

The 2023 Pentaport Rock Festival, organized by Gyeonggi Daily, is scheduled to be held from August 4th (Friday) to August 6th (Sunday) at Songdo Moonlight Festival Park.