Daegu or Dalgubeol lantern festival is a Korean tradition celebrated in April every year to honor Buddha’s birthday. This custom is passed down from Shilla dynasty to Dalgubeol, Daegu and it is becoming more common year by year in Korea. Each province or each city has its own way to celebrate this day. However, lantern festival in Daegu is actually the most famous and biggest. On this day, both Koreans and foreigners are excited to gather around Duryu Baseball Stadium and release the lanterns to the sky. These lanterns fly up and carry people’s wish for peace and happiness for themselves and for their families.
1. When is Daegu lantern festival 2019?
Dalgubeol lantern festival 2019 will happen from April 27th to May 6th and below are the 2 main venues where it takes place:
- Duryu Baseball Stadium: Dalseo-gu Park Circulation Road, Daegu 7 Duryu Park Baseball Stadium Main
- Sangdong-Gyo Bridge: Sangdong-Gyo, Sang-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu
You had better book a ticket online in advance since there are many people wanting to join this event, tickets will be sold out very quickly. The ticket price starts from 10,000 won for 2 people. In case you are too late to buy tickets online, there is still a chance for you to have a free first-come-first-serve ticket on the day of the event if you come early.
2. Highlights and fun things to do
Koreans celebrate this day with many activities and here are some specific programs which are held to commemorate Buddha’s birthday:
#1: Dalgubeol Lantern Parade
There are many interesting things to do in Daegu during this event, but the most anticipated activity is probably the Dalgubeol lantern parade, which stretches from Duryu baseball stadium, passing the Bangogae and Shinam streets and finishes at Banwoldang junction. Watching the parade with well-designed ornate paper lanterns and traditional art troupes is really fun and exciting for both first-time visitors and people who have watched it for many times.
The lantern parade often takes place from Duryu baseball stadium to Banwoldang junction.
#2: Floating Lanterns
After the parade, there will be a floating lanterns activity which involves plenty of paper lanterns being lit and dropped on the Sincheon river to make a spectacular scene. In order to have a chance to witness the whole glowing river lit up by beautiful lanterns, you’d better go to Sangdong-Gyo Bridge or Heemang Bridge, where offer the clearest view.
#3: Releasing Sky Lanterns
How wonderful it is when you can see hundreds of lanterns released and fly to the sky. The view is really stunning and sparkling, just like in the movie Tangled we saw when we were still children. Hundreds of lanterns are released at the same time to the sky, which makes it the most breath-taking view to be seen in Daegu that night. The lanterns you release are supposed to carry all your wishes and desires for a happy year ahead and seeing them flying to the sunset raises the hope that all your wishes can come true. It’s a magical and beautiful view that anyone who witnesses it by their own eyes will be speechless.
Venue: Duryu Baseball Stadium at 588-2 Duryu-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, South Korea
– For the best view of the whole view of the lantern, be around go up to the 83 Tower.
– Pre-sale tickets are often sold out in just a few minutes so you should get ready for the ticket war. Otherwise, you can come early to line up for free tickets from 13:00~16:00 (only 6,000 seats available – first come first served).
– Entrance to Duryu baseball park should be finished by 17:00.
#4: Watching Fireworks
Right after the floating lantern activity, visitors will be able to admire the beauty of colorful and attractive fireworks sparkling in the dark sky at Duryu Park. It’s perfect to grasp this chance and capture the moment with a nice selfie with your friends or family. Also, if you’re wondering about the best place to see fireworks, we’d suggest beneath Daegu’s 83 Tower.
#5: Enjoying cultural performances
During the fest, visitors can have an opportunity to enjoy unique traditional performances of Korea at Duryu Baseball Stadium. However, as the stadium is huge, it’s difficult to enjoy the show to the fullest if your seat isn’t near the main stage. Hence, you’d better come early to secure a good spot to watch the performance.
Besides, there are lots of cultural stalls for you to join like archery, drumming, mask drawing and many other interesting activities.
#6: Joining The Lantern Exhibition
From May 3rd to May 6th, the Lantern Exhibition will be held in Daegu Sincheon area such as Sangdong-Gyo Bridge, Jungdonggyo Bridge and Huimang-Gyo. It would be very exciting to watch one exhibition with things displayed on the river and enjoy lots of different performances. Plus, there are also some cultural experience programs that you can take part in such as the lantern-making activity.
#7: Going picnic
This is not an official activity of Daegu Lantern Festival. Since the door opens at 13:00 and the best part, which is lantern releasing, does not happen until 18:00, it is a good idea for families or friends using the spare time to bond at Duryu Park. It is actually convenient because Duryu park is one of many Daegu places of interest with wide space and comfortable environment.
3. Some tips when joining Daegu Lantern Festival
- If you come early in the afternoon, you’d better bring along umbrellas or sun hat since the weather might be very hot and sunny.
- Bring along food and drinks in case you are hungry because it can take a long time to experience all the fun of the event. Or else, there are food vendors and stalls available here but most Koreans coming to the festival prefer their self-prepared food from home.
- In case you can’t purchase ticket online, you should come early in the morning and queue to get a free one. However, there are only a maximum of 6000 tickets for free so make sure you come early as many people will also come and join the queue.
- Duryu baseball stadium:
- Once you get in, you can see that the red section is the inner ground of the stadium. It’s ideal to get a seat at this zone as it is near the stage and you can watch the performance without being interrupted or being burned by the intensity of the sun.
- Unlike the red zone, the blue zone is the least comfortable section. This spot faces the sun, therefore, bringing along umbrella and sun hat can help you a lot.
- The yellow zone and pink zone are the best spot to capture the view of hundreds lanterns flying in the sky.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera! Amazing shots can be taken while plenty of glowing lanterns light up the dark sky!
Dalgubeol Lantern Festival is a unique and meaningful event to Korean. The locals celebrate this event enthusiastically as this is the time for them to honor Buddha’s birthday. Whether you are Korean or not, you can still participate in this festival with joy and excitement. All the memories of beautiful sky lit up by plenty of lanterns or a glowing river with stunning lanterns floating on it will make your trip to Korea fulfilled with happiness.