Seoul Metropolitan Government is holding the Seoul Lantern Festival 2012 from November 2 (Fri) to 18 (Fri) in the Choenggyecheon area.
The 4th Annual Lantern festival will display a dazzling array of some 35,000 lanterns along a 1.5km stretch of the Cheonggyecheon between Cheonggye Plaza near Mojeongyo Bridge and Seungyo Bridge. The lanterns will be lit everyday from 5pm to 11pm.
Under the theme of “Seoul’s Roots, the Lifestyle of Our Ancestors”, Seoul City will display the lanterns according to four major themes: Hanyangdoseong Fortress, The Story of Our Ancestors Over 600 Years, The Daily Life of Our Ancestors, and Open Seoul.
In particular, the lantern named “Hanyangdoseong Fortress” has been selected as this year’s theme lantern to represent the city’s wishes for the registration of Hanyang as a UNESCO World Heritage. The lantern will be featured at the fountain in Cheonggye Plaza. The Hanyangdoseong Fortress, Naesasan Mountain, four gates, Sasomun Gate, and Odaegung Palace, which have been reproduced in miniature, will be the focal point of the festival.
Furthermore, four cities from three countries (Singapore, the Philippines, Japan) are participating in this year’s festival and showing off their beautifully exotic lanterns.
Singapore, which is participating for the first time this year, will present its colorful “Pineapple Lantern”. Last September, Singapore held the China Mid Autumn Festival, in which Seoul City displayed ten lanterns including the lantern named ‘Taejo Yi Seong-gye’ after the first king and founding father of the Joseon Dynasty, receiving a great response from the citizens of Singapore.
For the first time this year, Seoul City will also display 200 promotional lanterns emblazoned with the names of stores situated near the Cheonggyecheon (Jongno-gu, Jung-gu area) and messages wishing for the revitalization of local economy, and visitors can buy traditional Korean lanterns 20-50% cheaper than the market price.
During the festival, various exciting events will be held in every corner of the Cheonggyecheon under the theme of “hopes, wishes, and promises”. A fun event in which lanterns will be stacked up to complete a “lantern fortress” representing Hanyangdoseong Fortress as long as 50m will be held between Gwanggyo Gallery and Jangtonggyo Bridge, and visitors can write messages wishing for the registration of Hanyangdoseong Fortress as a UNESCO World Heritage. In addition, the “Traditional Korean Lantern Making Experience” will offer visitors an opportunity to make their own lanterns and paint them in their favorite colors, and a number of other events, including the “Hanging New Year’s Wish Messages” and “Floating Hope Lanterns” events will be held at the Gwanggyo Gallery.