Korea Destinations: Four festivals to look forward to in Gyeongnam Province this September

Image: Gyeongnam province
Image: Gyeongnam province

Korea Destinations: Four festivals to look forward to in Gyeongnam Province this September

haps Magazine Korea

With the full-fledged autumn season in September, local governments in Gyeongnam are busy preparing for the festivals.

While there are many festivals to check out in the province this month, here are four you won’t want to miss with recommended one and two-day tours.

Hamyang Wild Ginseng Festival

The Hamyang Wild Ginseng Festival, which marks its 17th anniversary this year, will be held for 10 days from September 2 to 11, in the area of ​​Sangrim Park in Hamyang.

Hamyang-gun is the area where Jirisan Mountain and Deogyusan Mountain, the spiritual mountains of the nation, are located. There are 15 mountains that are more than 1,000 meters high, so it has become a representative area for health and well-being. 

The Hamyang Wild Ginseng Festival is a festival that utilizes contents that can inherit the historical culture of forgotten wild ginseng and Simani. The main programs include a Golden Ginseng Search, a Wild Ginseng Digging Experience, a Wild Ginseng Auction, Wild Ginseng Makgeolli Festival, a Moonlight Concert, and a Healing Wild Ginseng Forest.

Experiences and various performances are held to provide a variety of attractions and experiences to tourists visiting the festival.

For a one-day trip to Hamyang, we recommend Namgyeseowon → Gaepyeong Hanok Village → Lunch (lotus leaf rice set meal) → Hamyang Wild Ginseng Festival → Daebong Skyland Course, where you can enjoy the zipline and monorail.

For a two day trip, we recommend Hamyang Wild Ginseng Festival → Millennium Garden → Lunch (Neungi Chicken Baeksuk) → Daebong Skyland → Seoamjeongsa Temple, Byeoksongsa Temple → Dinner (Black Goat Bulgogi)

Day 2 — Hamyang Wine Valley → Gaepyeong Hanok Village → Lunch (Bibimbap) → Namgye vow

The Hamyang area is famous for solsong wine which was used as an official supper for the inter-Korean summit during the 2007 visit to North Korea by former President Roh Moo-hyun. It is loved by many people as has a subtle scent and taste of pine needles.

Miryang Arirang Festival and Chodong Yeonga-gil Cosmos Festival

The long-established Miryang Arirang Festival, boasting its 64th anniversary this year, is a government-designated cultural tourism festival and will be held for four days from September 22 to 25 in Yeongnamru and the Miryang Riverside area.

Major programs include the magnificent Miryang River Odyssey Outdoor Performance, Arirang Story Tour, Intangible Cultural Heritage Performance, Fringe Concert, Song Festival, and Water Experience Zone.

Various programs are available for all generations to enjoy.

In addition, the Chodong Yeonga-gil Cosmos Festival, held from September 30th to  October 3rd, has been created by Miryang Chawol Village residents since 2015 as spring poppies and autumn cosmos bloom. As a result, it has established itself as a representative healing tourist destination frequented by local residents.

Satisfy the five senses with a variety of things to see and enjoy and eat in harmony with nature, with activities including a regular acoustic guitar busking performance on weekends, a walking event on Yeonga-gil, a market for direct sales of agricultural specialties, an experience zone for children’s traditional play, a flea market, and an exhibition zone autumn goods.

For a one-day tour in Miryang, we recommend the Miryang Arirang Grand Festival → Uiyeol Experience Center → Miryang Arirang Traditional Market → Moonbit Garden → Seoul Rice Cake Shop → Lunch (Miryang Pork Soup) → Wiyangji → Blueberry Picking Experience Course.

For a two-day tour, we recommend following the first-day tour and on the second day, take the Eumgol Cable Car → Lunch (oriental medicine Baeksuk) → Sirye Pumpkin → Ocheon Pyeongbanseok → Miryang Arirang Space Observatory. 

As for special alcoholic beverages that can be tasted in the Miryang region, we recommend ‘Classic Suldoga‘ which is raw makgeolli, jujube makgeolli, takju, and wines that are fermented and aged with classical music.

Image: Sancheong-gun

Sancheong Oriental Herb Festival and Gisan Gugak Festival

The Sancheong Oriental Herbal Herb Festival, a cultural tourism festival designated by the government, will be held from September 30 to October 10 at Sancheong IC Festival Plaza and Donguibogam Village. 

Boasting beautiful scenery that changes in the four seasons, Sancheong’s Jirisan Mountain is also a treasure trove with over 1,000 types of medicinal herbs. 

At the Sancheong Oriental Herb Festival, you can experience a variety of healing experiences, such as Sancheong Hyeminseo, a free experience of oriental medicine treatment and herbal medicine, herbal medicine experience,  herbal foot bath experience,  and the Donguijeon healing program. 

In addition, you can enjoy fun experiences such as trying on costumes of the Joseon Dynasty, a traditional tea ceremony, and folk games, and you can also purchase medicinal herbs and agricultural specialties through direct sales.

Also, at the Gisan Gugak Festival, which will be held at Gisan Gugakdang located in Namsayedamchon for two days from September 23 to 24, the spirit of the late Gisan Park Heon-bong, who was a pioneer of the Korean traditional music movement and who made great achievements in Korean traditional music education, will be inherited.

As a gugak madang event to commemorate achievements, you can enjoy rich gugak performances in one place.

For the Sancheong tour, we recommend the Jirisan Jungsan Duryu Eco Trail → Sancheong Oriental Herb Festival → Lunch (Namsayedamchon Hanjeongsik) → Namsayedamchon → Footbath Experience

On the second day, we recommend the Donguibogamchon Tour → Lunch (mushroom hotpot or homemade burger) → Dongui Cafe → Donguijeon Experience (scent bag making) 

Sancheong Beer is recommended as a special drink that can be tasted which is a premium craft beer with a unique flavor with a strong fruity flavor and bitterness of hops. Special and luxurious beer flavors such as Pilsner, Weizen, Dunkel, Rice Beer, and an IPA can be purchased.

Namhae German Village Beer Festival

Travel to Germany without a passport at the Namhae German Village Beer Festival which will be held from September 30th to October 2nd.

Starting with the Welcome Parade where villagers and tourists come together, the Oktober Night Party creates memories of the night in an exotic landscape.

During the festival, you can enjoy various programs such as jazz, yodel songs, EDM, and other genres of music that will add excitement to the festival, as well as a beer drinking contest,  tall beer mugs, and a beer ping pong game. 

Looking back while enjoying the festival, all you see are the orange roofs of unusual German-style houses with the green sea in the background, and you can feel another Germany in the South Sea.

For a one-day tour in Namhae, we recommend the  Sheep Farm → Namhae Exile Literature Museum → Darengi Village → Lunch (abalone mulhoe) → Geumsan,  Boriam → German Village Festival, and the Horticultural Art Village.

On the 2nd day after the tour, we recommend the course to visit the Wind Trail Art Museum → Mulmi Coastal Safety Observatory → Lunch (home-cooked alum) → Space Mizo → Sulli Skywalk → and Namhaegak.

Special craft beers that can be tasted in Namhae include ‘The Miner’s Song’ dark beer, which won the grand prize at the 2020 Gyeongnam Province Tourism Souvenir Contest and the Bronze Award at the 2021 Korea Tourism Contest. This beer was made to commemorate the plight of the miners and the German villages they settled into in the 1960s.

Detailed travel itineraries by city and county to enjoy festivals and cultural events in Gyeongsangnam-do can be found on the Gyeongsangnam-do Tourism Guide website


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