With the approach of fall’s cool winds, the island’s busiest and best season for events and festivals nears. Jeju’s events calendar is packed with 11 exciting festivals and seven festivals in October alone.
Visitors and locals alike can stroll Jeju's forests and admire their beautiful fall foliage during the Bonggae Trekking Festival and Jeju Olle Walking Festival. Attendees can also experience Jeju's traditional culture at the Tamna Cultural Festival, Jungeuigol Folk Festival, Deoksuri Traditional Folk Festival, Chusa Festival and Seogwipo Chilsimni Festival. For even more of Jeju’s culture, there is the Jeju Horse Festival and the Jeju Tangerine Festival both of which celebrate the island's icons.
Those who miss the warm sea of Jeju's summer, Moseulpo Yellowtail Festival offers some fantastic experiences such as catching fish from boats while participating in fishing competitions. Between the last night of this year and the first morning of the New Year you can wish for happiness for the next year at the Seongsan Sunrise Festival.
1. Tamna Cultural Festival (Oct. 1~5)
The Tamna Cultural Festival is the oldest and biggest festival in Jeju Island and one of the top 10 local festivals in Korea. Now in its 49th year, the festival features various culture and art events, village rituals and traditional folk games. On the morning of the first day, one religious ritual for the Halla mountain spirit will be held at Sancheondan in Jeju City, while another rite for three demi-gods, who created the Tamna kingdom, will be held at Samseonghyeol in Jeju City. Fireworks and traditional band parades will be held in the middle of both Jeju and Seogwipo City, while traditional music concerts and folk performances will occur all around the island including at Cheonjiyeon Square in Seogwipo City. Some art exhibitions are being run simultaneously such as a Jeju traditional culture photo exhibition at Jeju Culture & Art Center in Jeju City. Contact: 064-753-3287
2. Jungeuigol Folk Festival (Oct. 3)
The 17th Jungeuigol Folk Festival will be held at the Seongeup Folk Village (previously known as Jungeuigol) in Pyoseon-myeon in Seogwipo City. Village people hold this festival every year in an effort to preserve the nation’s precious heritage, which goes back over 500 years. Visitors can see a traditional wedding ceremony, the thatching of a Jeju village roof and experience many other Jeju cultural events. Contact: 064-760-2484, www.seongeup.net
3. Jeju Horse Festival (Oct. 9~10, 16~17)
The 8th Jeju Horse Festival will be held at Jeju Horse Racing Park in Yusuam-ri in Aewol-eup in Jeju City. The Jeju horse, one of the animal icons of Korea, is a proud symbol of Jeju. This festival features a Jeju horse parade, cross-country horse riding, amateur horse racing and a horsemeat cooking competition. Festival-goers will be able to try on a traditional riding uniform and see a wide variety of horse performances. Contact: 064-741-9251
4. Bonggae Trekking Festival (Oct. 9~10)
The Bonggae Trekking Festival will be held at 4.3 Peace Park and Jeolmul Recreational Forest in Jeju City. Divided into three sections, Oreum Trekking, Nature Experience Trekking and other experience programs, this festival features coverage of Jeju’s nature and history. The participants will attend various events including a 4.3 Peace Park tour and Jeolmul Forest tour events. Contact: 064-721-2303
5. Deoksuri Traditional Folk Festival (Oct. 10)
Deoksuri was once the village which manufactured most of the traditional commodities consumed throughout Jeju. To preserve this cultural heritage, the 19th Deoksuri Folk Festival will be held at the Sculpture Park on Deoksu-ri in Andeok-myeon in Seogwipo City. The festival will offer opportunities for visitors to revisit the traditional lifestyle of the islanders through the exhibition of traditional crafts. During the festival, folk song concerts will be performed at the Jeju Sculpture Park. Contact: 064-760-4314
6. Chusa Festival (Oct. 30)
This festival celebrates Kim Jeong Hui, a prominent Korean government minister, Silhak scholar, and calligrapher in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Chusa is Kim’s pen name, and the calligrapher lived in exile on Jeju for 9 years during which time he developed his own style of writing, “chusache,” based on ancient Chinese and Korean calligraphy. The festival highlights the cultural value of his work and the school which continues to develop his style of calligraphy. The festival includes an exhibition of the work and a performance of sacrificial rites. This festival will be held at Chusa Museum on Anseong-ri in Daejeong-eup in Seogwipo City. Contact: 064-760-3406
7. Seogwipo Chilsimni Festival (Oct. 22~24)
One of the biggest festivals held on Jeju Island, the “16th Seogwipo Chilsimni Festival” will be held at Cheonjiyeon Square in Cheonjiyeon-dong in Seogwipo City. This festival celebrates the legends and culture related to the city of Seogwipo. One of Jeju’s best-known legends is that of Seobok, the servant of the emperor Qin Shihuang, who was sent by the Chinese emperor to seek anti-aging medications in Seogwipo. The festival’s name “Chilsimni,” which literally translates to “70 Lees,” refers to a distance of about 28 kilometers, and was an old concept for the distance between Jeonghihyeon in Seong-eup to Seogwipo’s port. It is also known colloquially as the distance between Seogwipo residents’ hearts -- representing their hopes and dreams. Festival-goers will be able to see local art and experience the traditional Seogwipo lifestyle. Contact: 064-760-2662. www.70ni.com
8. Jeju Olle Walking Festival (Nov. 9~13)
The Jeju Olle Walking Festival is a trekking festival on the island’s famous Olle Trail, considered one of the most beautiful trails in the world. Participants can experience the natural beauty of Jeju walking on the now internationally appreciated trail, surrounded by oreum, seas and stone walls, while sampling various types of food and enjoying other remarkable cultural experiences. Each village that the Jeju Olle Trail passes through will enlighten the festival participants, providing them with a number of cultural performances of Jeju while sampling the island’s traditional cuisine. Festival hikers will experience these diverse cultural experiences as they walk a different Olle Trail each day. Routes used are Jeju Olle trails 1 through 5. Contact: 064-762-2172 www.ollewalking.co.kr
9. Moseulpo Yellowtail Festival (Nov. 3~7)
The 10th Moseulpo Yellowtrail Festival will be held at Moseulpo Port in Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo City. This festival is the only marine products focused event in fall on the island. Moseulpo is the southernmost region of Jeju Island and surrounded by three mountains, Sanbang-san, Dansan and Songaksa. The area is also encircled by two islands, Marado and Gapado which is why Moseulpo is one of the best fishing spots on Jeju. During the festival, visitors will be presented with an opportunity to fish yellowtail from a boat while participating in a yellowtail fishing competition. Some music concert and traditional performances will be held at the port. Contact: 064-760-4022
10. Jeju Tangerine Festival (Nov. 11~13)
The Jeju Tangerine Festival will be held at Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo City. The Jeju tangerine is a proud symbol of Jeju Island with harvesting season for the fruit occurring in November and December. This festival features celebrating and promoting the unique and exquisite taste of Jeju tangerines. Popular with tourists and locals alike, there will be plenty of local food to accompany the Miss Tangerine Pageant. Contact: 064-710-3191
11. Seongsan Sunrise Festival (Dec. 31~Jan. 1)
The 18th Seongsan Sunrise Festival will be held at Seongsan Sunrise Peak in Seongsan-eup in Seogwipo City at year’s end. This festival is one of the most famous sunrise festivals in Korea. The festival will start on the last day of the year and continue overnight to welcome in the first day of the New Year. Festival-goers will be able to experience the exhilarating beauty of the morning sunrise while making New Year wishes and resolutions. Concerts and traditional percussion performances will be held on a nearby stage. This festival features a visit to a World Natural Heritage site and a walk along the famous Jeju Olle trail. Contact: 064-760-4221
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