Korea’s Best Parties: 3 Not-to-be-Missed Festivals and Events

What do you know about Korea? Sure maybe you’ve heard of kimchi, but would you know much more? A land filled with pretty interesting culture and rich history, it also has some amazing festivals to take part in. Whether you speak tons of Korean, or your Korean level is pretty mediocre, you’ll get more out of parties like the Mud Festival than just a language boost. Take a look at our pick of top three:

Mud Festival, Boryeong

By Stinkie Pinkie (originally posted to Flickr as Mud Fest 2008) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Stinkie Pinkie (originally posted to Flickr as Mud Fest 2008) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mudfest happens every summer and is mainly on Daecheon beach. Surprisingly, the mud is not actually from Daecheon beach – it’s imported from the Boryeong mud flats nearby. The mud is the star of the event, so organizers try their best to bring just enough for the two week festival.  Going on for almost 20 years now, it’s left over 2.2 million tourists very happy!

The beach is completely redesigned with the creation of a ‘Mud Experience Land’. Initially, you are herded into a cage where you are coated in mud, and from there you can choose how you want to experience the rest of the festival. Whether it’s being painted with different coloured mud, taking part in mud wrestling, or simply dancing on the beach, when you’re finished you can wash it all off in the summer sea. Be warned though, accommodation books out quickly, and everything you own will get covered in mud. This is the festival to bring a clear water-tight plastic bag and a disposable camera to – trust us, you won’t regret it!

Extra info: Tickets are under US$10 – book well in advance! Gates open every morning at 9:30am and close at 6pm.

The Firefly Festival, Muju

Held every June, this festival is one not to miss! The fireflies in Muju are a sight to behold, so much so that the insects themselves have been designated national monuments. Muju is about 2.5-3.5 hours outside the city of Seoul by bus, and there are the usual Korean treats to enjoy at the festival: you can sample some delicious pumpkin candies, kimchi of every kind and, of course, delicious ramen.

The real magic comes out at night when the fireflies appear. The festival has a ‘firefly exploration’ event in the evening, once the sun sets – you can see thousands of them floating around and the photo opportunities are endless. There are also spots for lantern flying. If this tickles your fancy, make sure you sign up a few months in advance because it books up quickly! One of the reasons behind this festival is to highlight climate change. Fireflies are incredibly susceptible to climate change and global warming, and this festival was created to illustrate their importance in our changing world.

Extra info: Tickets go for under US$5. The nighttime firefly exploration event starts at 20:30.

Ultra, Seoul

Ultra Music Festival 2014 by FELIXFRO. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0

Ultra Music Festival 2014 by FELIXFRO. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0

One of the biggest music festivals in Korea, Ultra boasts a serious line up of techno and house performers. 2015’s lineup includes Skrillex and David Guetta along with a host of other amazing acts. Tickets go on sale a few months in advance and the prices climb the longer you wait. The festival is held in late May or early June every year and will allow you to spend a solid two days in techno music heaven. There are a few different tiers of tickets available to you, and if you’re buying abroad there’s a different system for booking online.  It’s a great way to kick off the summer in Seoul and an even better way to experience some pretty amazing music!

Extra info: Tickets usually range in cost from US$110-260 for the two day package, which varies depending on whether or not you buy early and whether or not you’d like a VIP ticket.

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While this might be our collection of top festivals feel free to add to our list in the comments section below! Know that you’ll really get the most out of Korean culture and the country’s incredible festivals if you speak some of the language. Why not see how far your current Korean gets you by trying our free Korean level test? Or contact us for Korean courses in an area near you!