Hi Seoul Fest & Lotus Lantern Fest

This weekend was the beginning of the colourful Hi Seoul Festival, spring edition. As one of the biggest and best of all Seoul's festivals, organizers have decided to multiply the fun times four. This year, for the first time, the festival will be held once a season instead of just once a year. And because one huge festival is not enough for a city of 10 million residents, the Lotus Lantern Festival also commenced this weekend. This festival is a week-long celebration of Buddha's birthday.

Lotus Lantern Fest at Cheonggyecheon

Lotus Lantern Fest at Cheonggyecheon

Over the weekend, I managed to attend several events, including a couple of parades, an “Imagination Factory,” and a water gun fight. Sunday night was a big night of parades. For three and a half hours, some friends and I watched thousands of people march, dance, and sing their way down Jongno Street. Unfortunately, it was a little rainy---a big no-no with parades, especially those involving lanterns---but it actually was okay. The crowds were thinner than they would have been otherwise, so those of us who braved the drizzle were treated with better views.

Hi Seoul parade
Hi Seoul parade

On holiday Monday (Children’s Day), I spent the day wandering around City Hall and Cheonggyecheon Stream, photographing the adorable children participating in the fun events Hi Seoul organized for their special day. Seoul Plaza at City Hall offered lots of crafts (that I would have done myself if I thought I could get away with it) and physical activities like trampolining and tight-rope walking (again, things I would have liked to have done myself if I could pass for a child!).

water gun fight at Cheonggyecheon
water gun fight at Cheonggyecheon

Over at Cheonggyecheon, the warm and sunny weather provided the perfect day for the largest and funnest water gun fight I’ve ever been a part of. Organizers handed out water guns to the kids (and towels to their parents) and let the children loose. Anyone brave enough to be in the area was guaranteed to get wet, but no one was complaining. It was definitely the highlight of my weekend.

Since the Hi Seoul Festival continues until next weekend, I’m thinking of going back for a rematch...

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More:
Coronation of King Sejong
Having Fun in the Streets of Seoul
Children's Day at Hi Seoul Festival