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Firefly Festival in Muju, the World’s Next Getaway

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The firefly is a bioluminescent insect that inhabits only clean, unpolluted areas. Thus the glowworms are very sensitive to the environment. While water pollution, reckless use of agricultural chemicals, and impudent rural development are leading to the gradual destruction of many insect habitats, Muju located in Jeollabuk-do offers scenic beauty with numerous starry bugs at this time of a year. The real stars shining up in the night sky together with the lights emitted by the bugs create a beautiful nocturnal sight.

Muju Firefly Festival Held for Nine Days from June 3 to 11
The Muju Firefly Festival, one of the representative eco-festivals in Korea, is celebrating its quindecennial this year. It brings fireflies, Korea’s Natural Monument No.322, to the fore. Selected as the most beloved summer festival and the second most desired culture/sports/tourist festival, the bright event attracted over 650,000 visitors last year. Its fame was reaffirmed this year when the government selected it as an “excellent cultural/sports/tourist festival.”

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Rustic Firefly Studded Landscape in the Dark
An event held throughout the festival under the theme of “Exploration of Wonderland with Fireflies” is very popular with the visitors as it offers them a sense of adventure: They come across greenish glimmers of fireflies while walking along rustic fields on a jet-black night with only the stars twinkling up in the sky. For the adventure-seekers’ convenience, exploration shuttle buses run between two stations from 8:30pm to 11:30pm. Those who want to take part in the event can apply both online and offline.
The Firefly Theme Pavilion is a place to stop by if you find the exploration of the firefly habitats unavailable but want to learn more about the ecology of the insect. You can get a glimpse of firefly’s life history: egg·larva·pupa·imago. There is a 3D picture room where the “Firefly’s Love Story” depicts the entire cycle of the bug’s life.

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Traditional Nakhwanori at Night
The highlight of the festival you don’t want to miss is “Nackhwanori.” Held at night, traditional Korean-style fireworks, with salt and charcoal pouches dangling on strings along the Namdae Stream, flare up to create a spectacle with flashes on the water and those drifted by the wind.

Various Hands-on Experiences Like Raft Rowing and Trout Catching
Several other events are held during the festival. You can have some memorable experiences of catching trout with your bare hands and taking a raft in the clean, cool Namdae Stream. You can also watch a traditional bier parade marching on the firewood prepared by Muju locals. Adding to the festive feel is “Didilbanga-akmaki-nori” (treadmill exorcism), a traditional folk play in which Korean dance, music, and ancestral rites are combined to pray for health, longevity and a good harvest.
Lee Gi-taek, Chairperson of the Muju Firefly Festival Committee, says: “I hope that you will grab the opportunity to make precious memories in Muju where the beauty of Mother Nature remains intact.”

Muju Firefly Festival Committee
Website: www.firefly.or.kr
Tel: 82-2-63-324-2440
Fax: 82-2-63-324-2441

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Wild Grape Wine Cave, another
Tourist Attraction in Muju

Muju produces one third of Korea’s wine. Muju wine is made of meoru which is a wild grape, different from the ordinary breeds. Halfway up Mt. Jeoksang in Muju, there is a Wild Grape Wine Cave created by remodeling a tunnel for an old pump power station. Out of the total length of 579m, 270m are open for sightseeing and the remaining 300m or so are used as a wine cellar in which some 20,000 bottles of ten kinds of wine produced in Muju are stored.
At a wine bar inside the cave, you can purchase the wild grape wine and sample it for free. You can also request a keeping service and retrieve the leftover wine anytime you drop by the cave. The cave always maintains temperatures between 12℃ and 15℃ - the best temperature range for wine storage - so you will find the place cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The wild grape wine is soft and has a low alcohol content. It leaves a refreshing aftertaste. It claims to be a healthy alkaline liquor with ample organic acid, polyphenol compounds, vitamins, and minerals.


Muju Wine Industrial Cluster   
Tel +82-2-63-323-7788    
Fax + 82-2-63-323-7799    
Website www.mujuwine.com

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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