Seoul Lantern Festival 2012

Last weekend was the conclusion of the 2012 Seoul Lantern Festival. Obviously, it's a festival about lanterns. But they are kind of pushing what you would actually define what a lantern is.

But who cares right? They are beautiful, lit up installations.

The festival took place on the Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul, my favorite place in the city. It's a nice place to walk around after doing any of the other great things in the area and the stream itself is unique to Seoul.

Most of the lanterns were about traditional Korean culture. Here we have royal ceremonial band from the 14th century.

I took the stroll with my girlfriend, unfortunately it started raining a little bit later so we didn't get the best view of all the lanterns, but it was great nonetheless.

A representation of Korean goblins, Doggebi, popular in children's books.

I needed a little cultural explanation about this one from my girlfriend. During the Joseon Kindgom era of Korean history (~1400-1900), women who were currently nursing would wear this style of outfit to allow for easy access for their newborns.

A dipiction of traditional wrestling, Ssireum (kind of pronounced Sheerum). It's fairly simple, opponents grab each others belts and try to bring them down to the ground. Once, for a fun little activity at school, we had our kindergarten students do this form of wrestling, on a slightly padded floor for slightly improved safety.  It was kind of hilarious to see the look on these little kids faces when their teachers told them it was okay to push and fight one another. The girls were especially hesitant, most of those matches ended no one being taken to the ground.

A traditional wedding ceremony.

It was nice to walk along the stream in the cool weather before winter comes along and ruins all of that.

There were a few lantern setups from foreign countries. Here is the epic from Aomori in northern Japan, where they have a famous annual lantern float festival, the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri.

A very nice little walk through a little bit of Korean history.