Monday, March 15, 2010

Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival in Jeju, Korea

This post is a bit overdue, but the Daily Shot of Jeju is back! I'm back in Korea and I just got to Jeju in time for the fire festival!

On the first full moon of the lunar new year (Daeboreum), the people of Jeju celebrate this harvesting of the grass festival to prepare for the spring planting season. Restarted again in 1997 after a hiatus due to obvious safety concerns, this festival has gotten bigger and more impressive every year. It started as a way to burn the grass to kill the insects and grew into a way for the locals to make their wishes for the new year. You write your wish on a piece of paper, and put it at the bottom of the oreum. During the three day festival many traditional events take place. You can see some sports, such as jumping rope, tug of war, traditional singing, and kite flying. On the last and final day of the festival, the entire hill (oreum) is set on fire in a fireworks show and explosion like I've never seen before in my life.

Flying Kites
The Grandmother of Jeju
The Torch Bearers
The Torch Procession
The Fire!