The 18th Gimje Horizon Festival Day 1 (by Pavel)

A few articles ago I was writing about the Chuseok (추석), the national holiday, and my trip to the Everland (에버랜드). This time I will tell you about another national holiday and suggest you a way to spend it.

Another national holiday in the Fall semester is the Gaecheonjeol (개천절). It is also known as the National Foundation Day and it is celebrated every year on October, 3rd. According to the Wikipedia, this holiday celebrates the legendary formation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon (고조선) in 2333 BC. This date has traditionally been regarded as the date for the founding of the Korean nation.

I have decided that on this holiday I should definitely do something different from watching TV-shows in my room. That is why I signed up to go to the Gimje Horizon Festival as soon as I heard about it in our group chat of foreign students in the KakaoTalk. Besides the desire not to be lame there were a few other reasons to go:

  • This was a chance to see something new
  • This program was for 120 foreign students, so it was a good chance to meet new people and make new friends
  • It was absolutely free!

The only downside was that we had to meet at 7:40(!) to get on the bus. However, I managed to get to the meeting place on time.

The festival took place in Buryang-myeon, Gimje of Jeollabuk-do province (전라북도 김제시 부량면). It was a five-day festival, however, we stayed only for the last two days.

 

It is indeed quite a large area and it is rather hard to miss once you are in the area since the skies are full of balloons and banners.

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The festival was decorated very nice. It could be seen even looking at the main gates:
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There was plenty to do. For the youngest there were some quite entertaining activities, such as archery.

 

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As for us, the organizations made a competition among women, who is going to swing higher.

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At the same time the rest of the people could just walk around and enjoy the layout.

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There was also a cafe in the middle of the lake, where you can sit, enjoy the view and the weather, and watch people riding catamarans.
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Later on we were able to enjoy the performance called “Rope pulling contest on the standing stone.” This is a traditional tug of war called Ipseok Juldarigi (입석 줄다리기), an annual festive event held in the evening of the year’s first full moon day by the lunar calendar. Interestingly, the tug-of-war competition takes place between a male and female team, and it is believed that the victory by the female team would bring rich harvest in the coming fall.

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There were also people in different traditional suits which were happy to take a photo with you!

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One of the most exciting things that I did that day was flying a kite. They were giving out free kites, so the skies were full of kites!
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In the evening the layout became even more beautiful thanks to the thousands of led lights.

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As the lights turned on, the concert of XXth century pop-music has started. They we singing a wide range of songs from all over the world and the atmosphere was very lovely.

However, the main entertainment of the night was right after the concert has finished. Amazing fireworks were synchronized with modern Korean pop-songs and this whole show haven’t left anyone disappointed. Just the other way around the crowd was simultaneously and uncourteously breath out “wow!” after the especially breathtaking blasts.

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Article by Pavel from Russia

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