Seoul Lantern Festival: World Treasures of Seoul
On Friday, November 7th the Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul came to life in an amazing display of lights and craftsmanship. Th Seoul Lantern Festival is an annual event dating back to 2009 and has grown quite large, attracting approximately 2.5 million people each year. This 17 day festival of illumination will conclude on November 23rd so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the various lantern installations adorning the beautiful Cheongyecheon Stream. The theme of this year’s festival is The Glowing World Treasures of Seoul, which will most likely include the use of previous lanterns along with new additions. Hundreds of lanterns have been hand crafted and designed by both international and local artists, and each installation carries a unique design and story.
The spotlight this year will be on the 8 meter tall “Wish Tree”, which will feature wish lanterns in varying colors that hold the wishes of 200 Seoul citizens and foreigners (sign up here). One way in which this year’s festival will be different is that in the past, installations will include a combination of traditional lanterns and modern light technology like LEDs. Recently in June 2014, The Seoul Metropolitan Government brought together a Seoul Lantern Festival Organizing Committee to focus on further evolving the 2014 Seoul Lantern Festival into a significant culture and tourism event. The SMG has also taken steps to gain sponsorships from the Cultural Heritage Administration, while pushing for more participation from stores, travel agencies, and lighting designers/manufacturers to develop tourism products based on the festival.