Sunday, November 28, 2010

서울 세계 등 축제

"Hi~ I'm Haechi. Welcome to 2010 Seoul Lantern Festival at Cheonggyecheon. This year festival is special because it coincides with the G20 summit."

It's rare to get this unobstructed view of Haechi lantern. Most of the time, crowd will be taking photo in front of it.

"Guards on duty" at Cheonggyecheon Plaza

Lanterns shown at the festival came mainly from Korea, Japan and China. Lanterns from Korea depict mainly animals, rituals and folklore, things that are closer to life and nature. However, it was the lanterns from China and Japan which stole the show. They are huge, elaborate and glamorous. Not to be outdone, Korea also has its 'jewel' - the turtle ship, which I thought was the best lantern in the festival.

A typical Korean lantern depicting animals seen in the peninsula

Carp lantern

Sea turtles lantern

Tiger lantern - In Korean culture, tigers are always depicted as adorable animals rather than fierce predators

Skating on ice

Celebration the Korean style - Wrestling, music and dance

'Pungmul' - Korean folk music tradition that includes drumming and dancing 

The turtle ship - The oars are moving, the dragon mouth spews steam and the canon mouths throw out flame. The most attention-grabbing lantern at the festival.

This lantern from Japan is the tallest lantern in the festival, probably about 10m tall. It depicts a gruesome-looking 'King of Hell'. Usually, the purpose of making such lantern is not to frighten people but to remind them to do good and stay away from evil.

The back of the 'King of Hell' with hell flame as the backdrop

Another nice piece of lantern from Japan - probably a sumo wrestler

The back of the sumo wrestler lantern

Distinctive Japanese paintings

Chinese lantern depicting landmarks of Shanghai

A very huge lantern which can only be captured in whole from afar

Chinese opera masks

A close-up shot. The beard is lit with LED lights.

Cowherd and Weaver Girl from Chinese legend

Revolving lanterns - The dark shadow kept revolving around inside the lanterns. 

There were about 25,000 lanterns on display with almost an equal number of crowd to match. In short, the place was very crowded.

Lanterns carrying the wishes of people

May all wishes come true

A lantern to promote Jeonju bibimbap

Yeony and Suny, the two mascots of Yeosu World Expo 2014. They are inspired by the planktons in the sea. I think the theme for the coming expo at Yeosu is also about sea.

That's all folk. This is Haechi in Seoul signing off.