Yesterday evening I attended the Seoul Lantern Festival with some friends. Although I don't typically like to attend events during a school night, past experience convinced me that this was the only feasible time to go to such a popular event.
When we arrived prior to dusk, I was so pleased to see that we could walk right in the entrance and down to the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Contrast that to last year, when the decision to attend on a Friday night resulted in a packed wait in line for well over an hour and a mob of people pushing down by the stream. Not a very ideal photography scenario!
This year, we started at the far end where the first set of hanji paper lantern sculptures were geared towards kids. Cartoon characters popular in Korea, as well as some of a more international flair.
There were also some lantern displays with an advertising component and still others of different countries, including one of Mount Rushmore. It felt a bit out of place, but rather interesting to see such an iconic piece of Americana down in Seoul.
My favorite ones were of a traditional theme. The throne room of Deoksugung Palace was particularly impressive, in its scale, detail, and sculptural aspects.
Seoul Lantern festival. The display will be up until November 22.