Referring to the lantern festivals in Asia, Loy Krathong, Yi Peng in Thailand and Pingxi in Taiwan is the first two names to remember. However, it would be a mistake to forget that Korea is also a country celebrating the beautiful lantern festival – Daegu Dalgubeol Lantern Festival. This is the biggest lantern festival in Korea.
The event is held in Daegu, the fourth largest central city of Korea. Thousands of foreign tourists, as well as local people, come here to participate in many interesting activities every April. The most important and expected activity is dropping the lights sparkling into the night sky.
1. Daegu Lantern Festival’s meaning
Held annually to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Dalgubeol Lantern Festival is considered to be a special tradition in Korea. It originated in the Unified Silla (668-935) and Goryeo (918-1392).
Although this festival is held separately in each province and city in Korea to commemorate the Buddha’s birthday, the most popular and most anticipated festival is probably Dalgubeol Lantern Festival in Daegu.
2. Daegu Lantern Festival time in 2019
Wish Lantern Flying (Sky Lantern) and Lantern Parade: April, 27th, 2019.
The doors open at 1:00 PM but the main 2 events are from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
3. Booking ticket for Daegu Lantern Festival:
If you want to take part in the Lantern Festival, you must book a ticket on this official website: http://www.gwandeung.or.kr/
You should note that tickets are sold out very quickly, within 2 minutes, so you had better be a little fast to successfully book your ticket.
In case of not booking online, the last chance for you is to come early and queue up for the ticket (this ticket is free) but there is only a maximum of 6000 tickets.
In order to get a free ticket, you have to go to Duryu Park early in the morning and line up to wait for your ticket (paper ticket is stuck to your hand). Although the festival starts in the afternoon, you still should not be subject to go late because the chance of the ticket will go to someone else’s hand.
Furthermore, do not forget to bring your box of rice, snacks to eat when you are hungry. If you don’t have enough time to prepare, you can buy fried chicken, instant noodles or pizza at the counters in the park.
4. Where does the Daegu Lantern Festival take place?
Duryu Park Baseball Stadium: Dalseo-gu Park Circulation Road, Daegu 7 Duryu Park Baseball Stadium Main
Sangdong-Gyo Bridge: Sangdong-Gyo, Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu
5. How to get to Daegu Lantern Festival?
If you depart from Busan or Seoul, you can come to Daegu (Daegu station) by regular train Mugungwha or fast train ITX-Seaemaul. Of course, the fare for each type of train will be different. Visit letskorail.com to preview the train schedule, fares and reservations
When you arrive in Daegu, you can go to Duryu Park by subway. Remember that you should go to the red line to Banwoldang station from Daegu station, and then you go to the green line and come to Duryu station. From here, walk a little further to reach Duryu Park. The average time of the journey is about 30 minutes.
If you do not want to go by train, you can take a taxi from Daegu to Duryu, the price is about 11,000 won.
6. Daegu Lantern Festival activities
Because the Dalgubeol festival takes place within 4 days, it will be a lot of activities such as floating sky lanterns, Dalgubeol lantern parade, dropping the flower lights on the river, etc.
There are also Korean cultural stalls like archery, drumming, mask drawing and so on.
In the afternoon, around 1:30 – 2:00 pm, the organizers will start opening the stadium for visitors and will close until about 5:00 pm. The light-emitting ceremony will start around 6:30 – 7:00 pm and last until 9:00pm.
Before floating sky lanterns, there is a lantern parade with ornate paper lanterns, traditional performing arts, dance troupes,… stretching from Duryu Park, then passing the streets Bangogae, Shinnam and ending at Banwoldang street. After lanterns floating, there will be an attractive fireworks display so do not rush out.
In addition, many people choose to drop lights on the river. Each paper lamp with pictures of Korean folk characters is lit inside and float on the Sincheon River. Enjoying the panoramic view of the river lanterns on Sangdong or Heemang Bridge will be a great moment in your life.
7. Weather in Daegu in April
The average daytime temperatures are around 15 degrees and 22 degrees. Typically, the temperature fluctuates around 19 degrees and the wind is a light breeze.
8. Where to eat in Daegu?
Daegu Dongseogno Street
This is Daegu’s most famous shopping area that Korean people call it “Myeongdong of Daegu”. The street is loved by many young people.
Address: Samdeokdong 1-ga, Jung-gu district, Daegu city (from DTC Textile Museum to Daegu Dongseongno street, about 40 minutes by bus and on foot)
Enjoying Seomun night market
One of the three markets that date back to the Joseon period, Seomun night market is the largest of the remaining two markets. The streets leading into the market have about 100 different shops selling food. You can find all the famous Korean street food like Mandu, teok-bokki, sausage and even Vietnamese Pho which provide an interesting culinary experience.
Address: 45 Keunjang-ro 26-gil, Jung-gu district, Daegu
Opening time: 19:30-24:00
Cuisine street Gopchang Anjirang
Cuisine street Gopchang Ạnirang is a destination that you should not miss when visiting Daegu. The road in this area has a lot of stalls, all selling Daegu specialty gopchang (beef heart). Enjoy the delicious gopchang in your trip will be an unforgettable tast
Address: Daemyeong-ro 36-gil, Nam-gu district, Daegu city
These are some brief experiences that will help you got your way through the journey and enjoy the amazing views of one of Asia’s largest three lantern festivals.
Daegu Lantern Festival (Dalgubeol Festival) is coming! Why don’t you book tickets to Korea in April this year to enjoy the festival atmosphere with family and friends? And don’t forget to bring your camera to record all your memorable moments!