4th February – 6th February 2019: Seollal
While many observe Sinjeong (Solar New Year; January 1 of the Western calendar), most Koreans celebrate Seollal (Lunar New Year), which usually lasts for three days. This is one of the most important annual festivals in Korea: a time for paying respect to ancestors and an opportunity to catch up with family members. The preparation for Seollal is called ‘charye’ and includes travelling, organising gifts and preparing the holiday feast.
April 2019 (TBC): Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival
The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival takes place every April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The street behind the National Assembly Building, called Yunjung-ro, is lined with about 1,400 cherry trees and is at its finest when they are covered in blossom.
3rd May - 5th May 2019: Lotus Lantern Festival
South Korea is a cultural melting pot, with various religious groups living side by side... and enjoying each others festivals. Christmas is widely celebrated by non-Christians, and so it is with the Lotus Lantern Festival, which is officially Buddha's birthday party but attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors of all backgrounds. The burning lanterns are enchanting.
June 2019 (TBC): Ultra Music Festival Korea
If you enjoy subtly constructed and emotive music, performed by artists who have dedicated their lives to the craft, this probably isn't for you. If you like kick-drums that shake your internal organs, accompanied by spectacular visuals and a pumped crowd, Ultra just might be what you are looking for.
July 2019 (TBC): Boryeong Mud Festival
At Daecheon Beach on Korea's west coast, this festival, as the name suggests, is dedicated to mud. Slide around in the stuff; throw it at other people as they throw it at you; simply let your inner farmyard animal out. The resort is a couple of hours away from the city and is well worth a visit if you need some beach time.
12th September – 14th September 2019: Chuseok
This is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea, along with Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Dano (the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year).