Jinju Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival Jinju South Korea

Jinju Lantern Festival

Check Out Some Footage I found of this Lantern Festival and put On YouTube!

Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival 
Jinju Lantern Festival
Jinju Floating Lantern Festival

This festival has many different names, but the official name is Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival. First, let’s give you a brief history lesson. Jinju is a city in the Gyeongsang province of South Korea and played a significant role in the Imjin war between South Korea and Japan. A force of only 3,800 Koreans defeated a force of over 20,000 Japanese. The lanterns were originally used to keep military troops from wading into the Namgang River as well as for family members to communicate outside of the Jinjuseong Fortress. Now the lanterns have continued as a tradition to honor all of the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during the battle in Jinju. It has transformed into a great big festival that lasts roughly 1-3 weeks every year at the beginning of October.

This is a trip that I have meant to take for a while but never got around to it. Thankfully I came across this trip on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, that would allow me to make it in one day without taking up my whole precious weekend. Some people might want to stay and explore longer but my weekends are pretty jammed packed with other things. Essentially you take a bus for a few hours from Seoul down to Jinju in the late morning, get lots of time to check out the city of Jinju and plenty of time to check out the Lanterns once the sunsets and then you take the bus at night back to Seoul. The price of the trip also includes the entry fee to the festival itself. Such a quick turnaround and sleeping on a bus might not be for everyone, but for me, it worked out perfectly.

Link to the trip I took: Jinju Lantern Festival – Trazy.com

Break down of my trip

Unfortunately, on the day of the journey, I was running a little behind, and I had a few communication errors with my taxi driver, but I was able to make it to my bus, and everything was good to go. Seriously, everyone needs to make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes early. I got incredibly lucky because of terrible traffic, so the bus was also a few minutes late, but they said that typically they do not wait for people at all. This is a planning mistake on my part that I will not be making again.

The bus ride was nice as it’s a nice charter bus with some comfortable seats. The trip allows you to see some excellent views of the Korean countryside that are not seen when staying in Seoul. At about the halfway point, the bus will stop at a rest stop, and you will have roughly 30-40 minutes to grab some food, go the bathroom, and do whatever else you need to do. Rest stops in Korea are not like in the US. They are huge, have many food options, and offer all kinds of shops and different things.

We arrived in Jinju sometime between 4-5 I wasn’t paying that much attention to the time and had until 11:50 to check out the city and the Lantern Festival. I will say that Jinju as a town does not have that much to offer as it is relatively small, so most of your time will be spent at the festival which will have everything you need.

The Lanterns

I have been to many lantern festivals, but this is the biggest and best one I have ever seen. As it was still daytime when we arrived, I first checked out the fortress part of the festival. They had lanterns everywhere, in the park/green space all around the fortress, with lantern soldiers all along the fortress wall.

In one part, they even had a lantern reenactment of the battle. I was kind of surprised at how graphic some of the lanterns were, but it was still a lantern, so for sure still family-friendly.

While I was there (I am not sure if this was because it was the first day of the festival or not), they had HUGE fireworks show before they turned on the lanterns that were floating in the river. The fireworks show was probably one of the best I had ever seen, and they even had some birds (drones or remote control airplanes) flying between the fireworks, which made for a really cool effect. Then at the end of the fireworks, they turned on all of the lanterns that were in the river; all the lanterns in the fortress and in other places were already on.

They had lanterns floating on what essentially looked like water jugs which I found kind of funny. Some lanterns were very elaborate, from traditional Korean characters to the pyramids, Napoleon, and the Christ the Redeemer statue, all lanterns.

Aside from the Lanterns, the festival offers what you would typically expect from an event like this. They had many food stands, from Korean to a few international options. I even saw a Peruvian and Ecuadorian band and traditional jewelry.

So once again, thank you, Trazy, for offering a good trip and something I certainly enjoyed. Everyone should check out some other fall activities they offer; click here. With Trazy’s packages, individual travelers can enjoy a hassle-free journey and also experience the most up-to-date and unique travel experiences in South Korea via easy online booking. Just like everything Trazy has to offer this trip was at a discount.

Trazy website: https://www.trazy.com
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Trazy Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trazy_korea

If you have any questions about this trip, Trazy, or anything else, just comment below or send me a message.


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