Friday, December 4, 2015

Seoul Lantern Festival

So I had this goal of writing 3 posts in November, to make up for the fact that I have only posted once since June. It's been SUPER BUSY in these parts since, oh, all year or so. It kinda slowed down in April, but things sped up again shortly thereafter. I have a busy job, so I don't have the down time that I used to have when I was a professor, plus I have a lot of creative outlets at work, plus I've started a baking venture on the side, so I don't use writing as a creative outlet much anymore. That plus I live on the outskirts of Seoul means I spend a lot more time on the subway train, and less time in front of my computer. Tra la la, it all adds up and the blog has been radio silent for a while. And November was absurdly busy. Oopsies. Whatever. Side note: Does anyone actually read these intro paragraphs, or do you all skip to the pictures? I'll be honest, I don't usually read the intros on other people's blogs. I'll keep writing anyway, because this is less about you, dear reader, and more about my scrapbooking-ish-ness for the proverbial grandkids (or something like that). 

I keep meaning to write about my awesome summer, but haven't yet. Soon! Hopefully. I finally organized pics from my adventures, so they'll make it up here eventually.

In the meantime!! I want to stay up to date with some of the other domestic adventures I go on while living in Korea. I am in Seoul now, obviously, and there are a lot of cultural advantages to living here!

Last month, my good friend Natalie and I went to Cheonggycheon, a pretty stream walk near the main palace, for the Seoul Lantern Festival. The festival ran from November 6 - November 22, 2015. It's a great festival to check out on a chilly November night, so we bundled up and went to the stream on a weeknight to avoid the crowds.

The lanterns are remarkable. We didn't make it all the way down the stream (it's like a 10 km walk), but the early lanterns were the most beautiful. They're huge and detailed and it's clear that a lot of care goes into each lantern's production. The lanterns in each section of the stream had themes, like "traditional games" or "countries around the world." I am not nearly as quick to take pictures of everything as I used to be when I was a new expat, but I got a few! It's so beautiful but the novelty has worn off, so I'm more apt to soak in the sights and just enjoy things than take pictures. I kind of like it this way :) What pictures I did take, however, I will share with you. Enjoy!

The first section was very traditional:

This section was like a world tour! Several countries were invited to bring lanterns for the showcase.

We found China!! 

We found Mt. Rushmore!! 

The Philippines was very Christmassy! 

After that it got very commercial and lame, so we opted to go get street food instead. It's hotteok season, baby! 

The end.
Back to the lights of the city. 

P.S. It feels like I just took you for a virtual walk along the stream. Thanks for coming along!

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