The cold winds and freezing temperatures of winter have passed and spring is drawing near. In Korea, spring temperatures range from 5℃ to 20℃, and the return of warm weather brings wild flowers to bloom all over the country. As the weather improves, so do people’s spirits, and springtime festivals are held throughout the country. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the good weather by participating in Korea’s flower, food, and culture festivals.

Spring flower festivals signal the changing of seasons

Spring announces its arrival in Korea with a blanket of yellow and white blossoms spreading over the country. Cherry blossoms, apricot flowers, and cornus fruit trees bloom from the beginning of March when the air is still chilly. The warm season sees a host of festivals take place in Korea where visitors can stroll amidst the glorious blossoming flowers and see the country at its best.

Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival
: March 17 – March 25, 2012
Venue: Jeollanam-do Gwangyang-si Maehwa Village, and Cheong Maesil Farm
Description: Organized since 1997, the Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival is famous for improving every year. In springtime, the Maehwa Village where the festival is held becomes a most splendid landscape as the apricot flowers burst into bloom near the village on Mount Baeunsan.

Gurye Sansuyu Festival
Dates: March 23 – March 25, 2012
Venue: Jeollanam-do Gurye-gun Sandong-myeon Jirisan Mountain Hot spring area
Description: Held in the hot spring area of Mount Jirisan, the Gurye Sansuyu Festival features various hands-on programs like cornus fruit liquor making and sampling of cornus fruit makgeolli. A number of performances such as pungmulnori, Korean traditional music, and fireworks displays are held throughout the festival period.

Jinhae Gunhangje Festival
Dates: April 1 - April 10, 2012
Venue: Gyeongsangnam-do Changwon-si Jinhae-gun Jungwon Rotary
Description: Held in early April when the cherry tree flowers are in full bloom, the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival draws more than 2 million tourists every year. Visitors are greeted by showers of cherry flower petals under the tunnel created by cherry trees. There are various events not to miss, such as the military band parade, the Korean Wave star concert, and multi-media fireworks show.

Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival
Dates: April 6 – April 8, 2012
Venue: Jeju-do Jeju-si Jeju Citizen Welfare Town area
Description: The Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is a harmony of cherry trees and music. With the theme of ‘Forum of Harmony,’ the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival features a cherry blossom photo zone and exhibitions of indigenous wild flowers and orchids, allowing visitors to appreciate various spring flowers. With the installation of lights, the festival can now be enjoyed fully in night time.

Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival
Dates: April 13, - April 15, 2012
Venue: Chungcheongbuk-do Jecheon-si Cheongpungho Lake area, Cheongpung Cultural Complex, and Jecheon Cultural Village
Description: The Cheongpunghoban Cherry Blossom Festival is held along the 13 kilometer road by Cheongpungho Lake, where thousands of mature cherry trees sit in waiting. Various shows and performances are scheduled, including a cherry blossom street concert, a magic show, and a dance parade. Visitors can also take part in samplings of herbal medicinal teas and food made of wild herbs. Near the venue are the Cheongpung Cultural Property Complex, a TV drama filming location, and bungee jump sites.

Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival
Dates: April 6 – April 8, 2012
Venue: Gyeongsangnam-do Hadong-gun Hwagae Market area
Description: First organized in 1993, the cherry blossom festival is held in Hwagaejangteo, a traditional open-air market situated in the border between Hadong in Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Gurye in Jeollanam-do Province. During the festival, the cherry tree blossoms along the 6 kilometer-long road from the market to Ssanggyesa Temple are a fantastic sight. Various cultural events like pungmulnori, ssireum (wrestling) competition, and fireworks display are organized during the festival.

Icheon Baeksa Sansuyu Blossom Festival
Dates: April 6 – April 8, 2012
Venue: Gyeonggi-do Icheon-si Baeksa-myeon Songmal-ri, Gyeongsa-ri, and Dorip-ri
Description: Visitors to this festival enjoy walking amongst the 100-year-old flowering sansuyu (cornus fruit) trees. Festival events include the sansuyu parade, and traditional folk games such as Tuho (arrow-throwing game) and Geunetagi (swing riding). There is a photo exhibition and other cultural events, as well as hands-on programs to make soap and rice cakes with sansuyu.

Yeouido Spring Flower Festival
Dates: April 13 – April 17, 2012
Venue: Seoul-si Yeouido National Assembly Building and the surrounding areas of Yunjungno & Yeouido
Description: The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is held every April when cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The street behind the National Assembly Building, called Yunjungno, is lined with 1,400 cherry trees and is the most famous cherry blossom street in Seoul. Visitors can stroll next to the Han River through a tunnel of these magnificent trees. There are also Street Cultural Arts Performances, a flower decoration exhibition, and a photo exhibition.

Jeju Canola Flower Festival
Dates: April 20 - April 29, 2012
Venue: Jeju-do Seogwipo-si Pyoseon-myeon Gasi-ri Noksan-ro and Mount Daeroksan areas
Description: The Jeju Canola Flower Festival is a major festival of Jejudo Island that draws a large group of tourists every year. A magnificent field of canola stretches 10 kilometers on both sides of Noksan-ro Road. Walking, hiking and bicycling events are organized along the road.

Hampyeong Butterfly Festival
Dates: April 27 - May 8, 2012
Venue: Jeollanam-do Hampyeong-gun Hampyeong Expo Park area
Description: The Hampyeong Butterfly Festival is held on over 8,300 acres of land in Jeollanam-do Province. Visitors are delighted by the sight of tens of thousands of butterflies flying among the canola blossoms. Check out the halls of butterflies, insects, and agriculture to explore some 20 types of butterflies and see the process of growing crops. Also organized are theatrical plays on the environment, percussion performances, and children programs to learn about insect ecology.

* Festival dates and programs are subject to change due to local circumstances.

Article from Korea Tourism Organization ( )