JEJU WEEKLY

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Tourism
Cherry blossom blooms bright on JejuOne of the highlights of the Jeju festival calendar returned in April with an extra location
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승인 2016.05.27  13:03:02
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▲ The cherry blossom festival is a favorite place for couples Photo by Douglas MacDonald

At the end of April Jeju held its annual cherry blossom festival.

Due to its warmer climate, Jeju’s cherry blossoms bloom around a week earlier than those on the mainland.

Unlike in some of the provinces in Korea, the King Cherry Blossom trees seen at the many festivals across the island are native to Jeju.

As the first province to see cherry blossom in Korea it is always a big moment when those first pink buds bloom.

For many it signifies the end of Jeju’s winter and the real start of spring, while for others it is a perfect opportunity for a romantic trip with their significant other.

Some people come to sharpen their photography skills while for others it is a perfect family day out.

Sachith, a student at Jeju National university said that he looked forward to the festival because it “marks the beginning of spring. After a few months of cold weather, it’s the best time to enjoy the beauty of the emerging nature.”

Whatever the reason it is a must see festival in Jeju and one of the highlights of the festival calendar.

This year the festival was held in three locations throughout the island; Jeonong-ro in the city, the entrance to Jeju National University and Jangjeon-ri in Aewol.

▲ Newly fallen cherry blossom petals remind us that summer will soon arrive Photo by Douglas MacDonald

This year, at least initially, saw perfect conditions for some cherry blossom spotting.

Friday and Saturday saw two full days of glorious sunshine as the crowds flocked to the various festival sites.

Jeonong-ro was particularly lively as people came to snap photos, relax and enjoy the once a year experience.

As the closest spot to the city it was busy all day and into the evening where the cultural performances on show competed with the beauty of the cherry blossom for the attention of the visitors.

The natural surroundings of Jeju national University offered a different atmosphere to the bustle seen at the other festivals.

Here the fully bloomed flowers contrast with the greens of the forest and offer a more natural view.

As with a lot of festivals in Jeju there was a range of delicious treats available to those who needed their stomachs filling.

From traditional pajeon to roast quail there was something for everyone, while the tents and their sit down tables offered a chance to relax to those who had spent too long walking in the festival.

Jeju University’s student atmosphere offered some more modern fare including the current trend for Churros also cocktails in a bag.

▲ Newly fallen cherry blossom petals remind us that summer will soon arrive Photo by Douglas MacDonald

As night fell and it became harder to see the cherry blossoms themselves, the atmosphere changed into that of a carnival and various shows and performances were shown at the festival throughout the evening.

Jangjeon-ri in Aewol meanwhile added a bit of extra sparkle to their festival with an atmospheric night light show, meaning that even those who work into the night were able to take part in the festival.

Sunday saw less than ideal conditions for the cherry blossom, but that didn’t seem to do too much to dampen people’s spirits.

Jeonong-ro was still full of people as they looked to make the most of the final day of the festival.

As it’s slightly higher up the mountain than the other festival sites, the cherry blossoms at Jeju National University finished later than some of the other spots in Jeju.

However even at the university the festival was soon over as the delicate cherry blossoms are replaced by the greens of summer.

Sachith summed this up perfectly when he said the reason for going to the festival is “to capture the beauty of the cherry blossoms, before they fade away in a few days time.”

There can’t be many other flowers whose beauty is so intense yet also so fleeting.

Of course while the loss of the cherry blossom for another year is hard to take, the thought of the lush greens and warm weather of summer soon dampen the blow.

ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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