Seoul springs to life with festivals

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : May 2, 2017 - 19:22
  • Updated : May 2, 2017 - 19:27
With spring in full bloom and the days getting warmer, a number of festivals that focus on outdoor activities are taking place around Seoul. Here is a list of May festivals compiled by The Korea Herald. 

Contemporary artist Kildren will hold an exhibition at All Day Out Seoul 2017. (CJ E&M)

Nod to street culture

All Day Out Seoul 2017, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Layer 57 in Seongsu-dong, is an event dedicated to all things hip-hop and street culture, hosted by the entertainment behemoth CJ E&M.

Some of Korea’s trendiest rappers such as CJamm, Giriboy and Paloalto will be performing. A DJing party will take place later in the evening. An art exhibition will also be held in a quieter corner of the venue, with artwork by young Korean contemporary artists, such as Kim Seok-won, who goes by the name Kildren.

Street culture figures will be giving talks on their professional and personal journeys. The event will be held from 1-10 p.m. on both days.

Tickets are available at 59,000 won at and at 69,000 won on site.

Location: Layer 57, 57 Seongsu 2-ro 20-gil, Seongdong-gu

Visitors attend last year’s Korean Traditional Liquor and Food Festival at Namsangol Hanok Village. (Institute of Traditional Korean Food)

Traditional food and drinks

The 10th edition of the Korean Traditional Liquor and Food Festival, which celebrates dishes and drinks that have been around for hundreds of years, is taking place at Namsangol Hanok Village from May 18-19.

Visitors will be able to experience the kneading of dough for tteok, or Korean rice cakes, and try making makgeolli, an alcoholic drink made with rice.

Traditional food and drinks will be available free of charge at the event hosted by the Institute of Traditional Korean Food.

Location: Namsangol Hanok Village, 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu 

Visitors take a selfie at last year’s Seoul Rose Festival in Muk-dong, Jungnang-gu. (Seoul Rose Festival)

Rosy path

A park in Seoul’s eastern neighborhood of Muk-dong, Jungnang-gu, is famous for its tunnel of arches adorned with hundreds of climbing rose bushes.

The annual Seoul Rose Festival will take place around the Jungnangcheon area from May 19-21 this year, featuring some 72,000 roses of over 40 varieties.

The festival is held in partnership with the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak, home to a century-old rose festival.

The Seoul event will kick off with a rose parade, where festival participants can join professional dancers in a procession through the park. On the evening of May 19, participants will be able to float rose-shaped lanterns on the nearby stream.

A jazz concert, rose garden dinner, dance party and rose market will take place in the ensuing days. Buskers and food trucks will be stationed around the area.

Location: 332 Jungnangcheon-ro, Jungnang-gu

Musicians perform at last year’s Seoul Music Week in Gwanghwamun. (Korea Tourism Organization)

City of music

During Seoul Music Week held from May 19-21, artist teams from 23 countries will put on some 57 shows.

A number of eclectic artists specializing in diverse genres -- from reggae, ska and neo soul to jazz, blues and gugak (Korea traditional music) -- will be performing in and around the Sejong Center for Performing Arts, located in Gwanghwamun.

All shows will be open to the public free of charge.

Colorful Korean music teams such as Kingston Rudieska, Common Ground and 3rd Line Butterfly will be performing.

Location: Sejong Performing Arts Center,175 Sejong-daero, Sejongno, Jongno-gu

By Rumy Doo (