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Season’s Greetings: Spots to celebrate the Christmas spirit

The nativity scene at the Myeongdong Cathedral (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
The nativity scene at the Myeongdong Cathedral (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Myeongdong Cathedral situated in the heart of Seoul is a symbolic destination for the Christmas season. The country’s oldest Roman Catholic gothic architecture is now surrounded by soft lights and glittering Christmas trees adding a festive vibe to the city.

Passersby in the neighborhood are attracted to the cathedral to take photos against the background of the rose garden, or some would stay for a while in front of the nativity scene set up in front of the cathedral to pray. The manger at the barn is empty for now until baby Jesus is put there on Christmas Eve, according to the catholic church.

The “2021 Christmas fest” will be held near the church from Dec. 24 to 26 at night with priests offering mulled wine and young artists selling their handcrafted items.

“Wishing trees” will be set up at the festival for people to write down their new-year wishes and hang it on a tree. Accompanying donations will go to the Archdiocese of Seoul that opened the Myeongdong Bapjip, an organization that offers free meals to neighborhoods in Seoul.

Christmas Mass will be held on Christmas Eve at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m., allowing up to 600 people inside the cathedral, according to the church as of Thursday.

For those looking for some exciting things, the two major recreation complexes -- Lotte World and Everland -- are offering special events for the Christmas season. 

Mastic Castle that turned into Christmas tree at Lotte World in Songpa-gu, Seoul (Lotte World Adventure)
Mastic Castle that turned into Christmas tree at Lotte World in Songpa-gu, Seoul (Lotte World Adventure)
Lotte World’s iconic Magic Castle, located at the outdoor theme park known as Magic Island, turns into a 41-meter Christmas tree at night featuring a 3D multimedia mapping show. The spectacular tree has become a popular photo spot that has gone viral on social media. The castle can be seen at a distance from the Seokchon Lake Park located nearby the theme park in Jamsil, a neighborhood of Songpa-gu, Seoul. 

A photo time with Santa is offered at the “Christmas market” at Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Everland)
A photo time with Santa is offered at the “Christmas market” at Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Everland)
Everland, another theme park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, a 30-minute drive from Seoul, created the “Winter garden” at the 10,000-square-meter space decorated with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights. The lighting show “Symphony of lights” is played for five minutes a couple of times every day. The “Christmas market” is held at the Holland Village where Christmas gifts are on sale along with a busking show and photo time with Santa and Rudolph. 

Seasonal ice rink at Grand Hyatt Seoul in Hannam-dong, central Seoul (Grand Hyatt Seoul)
Seasonal ice rink at Grand Hyatt Seoul in Hannam-dong, central Seoul (Grand Hyatt Seoul)
Grand Hyatt Seoul in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, opened an outdoor ice rink for the Christmas season, which is famous for tree lightings around the ice rink and a breathtaking view of the city skyline. The iconic winter destination for families and lovers has been featured in Korean dramas and movie. The festive ice rink will be open until Feb. 20.




By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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