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Local Food Festivals in Korea

Local Food Festivals in Korea

Any cities and districts in Korea have their own local festivals. These festivals started with the aims of giving their residents a sense of civic pride and promoting harmony between them. However these festivals also aim to attract people from outside these areas, and even from abroad. So they eventually contribute to making the cities and districts familiar to outsiders, and also to improving the economic situation of the areas.
At all festivals food and drinks are indispensible. And actually in Korea there are many festivals concentrating on these as products, and not just arranging stalls for selling them. These festivals are attracting more and more participants, due to the trend of growing interest in good foods. Some well known festivals are those for kimchi, Korea Insam, traditional liquors, and fermented foods. Because of their reputation foreign food importers often visit them to develop ideas for their business, and many domestic consumers also participate in them.

Foods Reflect Local Tradition and Lives

Many local dishes are made with ingredients obtained from the local area. This means that they have unique qualities, which are different from those in other areas. Even when it comes to the same category of food, say kimchi or jang (sauces and pastes made with soybeans), each area has a different recipe. So if one experiences some dishes in a district, it is possible to develop some insight into the local tradition and the lives of the people.
There follow brief introductions to some local festivals in various provinces of this country:-

1) Gyeonggi-do: the ‘Icheon Peach Festival’ in September; the ‘Festival for Yeoju Products Presented to the Joseon Royal Court’ in October; and in April the ‘Goyang Flower Korea Show’, which attracts many visitors both from Korea and abroad.

2) Gangwon-do: the ‘Inje Semi-dried Pollack Festival’ in February; the ‘Chuncheon Buckwheat Noodle Festival’ and the ‘Donghae Squid Festival’ in August; the ‘Yangyang Song-i Festival’ in October.

3) Chungbuk-do: the ‘Danyang Garlic Festival’ in July, the ‘Goesan Clean Pepper Festival’ in August, and the ‘Jincheon Rice Festival’ in October.

4) Chungnam-do: the ‘Nonsan Strawberry Festival’ in March; the ‘Buyeo Watermelon Festival’ in May or June; the ‘Geumsan Korea Insam Festival’ in September; and the ‘Yesan Apple Festival’ in November.

5) Jeonbuk-do: the ‘Namwon Maple Sap Festival’ in February and March; the ‘Gimje White Lotus Festival’ in June; the ‘Gochang Seafood Festival’ in September; and‘International Fermented Food Expo’in October.

6) Jeonnam-do: the ‘Gwangyang Green-plum Blossom Festival’ in March; the ‘Yeosu Seafood Festival’, the ‘Boseong Tea Festival’ in May; the ‘Jangheung Mudflat Eel Food Festival’ in July; and the ‘Muan White Lotus Festival’ in August.

7) Gyeongbuk-do: the ‘Korean Traditional Drink & Rice Cake Festival in Gyeongju’, and the ‘Gimcheon Wild Herb Food Festival’ in March or April; the ‘Seongju Melon Festival’ in May; the ‘Punggi Korea Insam Festival’, and the ‘Yeongyang Red Pepper Festival’ in September or October.

8) Gyeongnam-do: the ‘Hadong Mountain Dew Tea Cultural Festival’ in May; the ‘Sacheon Gizzard Shad Festival’ in August; the ‘Masan Chrysanthemum Expo’, and the ‘Changwon Sweet Persimmon Festival’ in October; the ‘Miryang Apple Festival’ in November.

9) Jeju-do: the ‘Bukjeju-gun Rape Blossom Festival’ in April; the ‘Seogwipo Sweetfish Festival’, and the ‘Bukjeju-gun Pig Festival’ in May; the ‘Jeju Mandarin Orange Festival’ in November or December.

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Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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