As part of our meetup group's trip to Namhae Island, we went to the 10th annual Treasure Island Garlic Festival. Indeed, garlic was big on the minds of most Namhae residents, as their major crop on terraced fields was being harvested. After spending several leisure hours on the beach of the island, it was a very unique outing.
This year's festival was held in conjunction with a Hanwoo (Beef) promotion. Our extended weekend trip included the cost of a grilled barbecue at the festival. We lined up at the window of the barbecue station where each pair of participants received a shrink-wrapped styrofoam tray of thinly sliced raw beef. Drinks and a tray of veggies was extra, but quite affordable. One of our table members became the honorary barbecue meister, grilling the beef, garlic, and a few veggies. Using chopsticks, we picked up the beef pieces that were done to our liking and wrapped them in a lettuce leaf with desired veggies. Yummy.
Lanterns here came in the shape of garlic, reflected on the pond. For a fee, one could paddle a raft across the small pond.
Inside the expo hall, prize garlic was neatly arranged. One could also buy garlic in various forms of consumption as well as medicinal.
I've been to quite a few festivals in Korea; this was definitely one of the most unusual ones I've attended.