New Year’s Sunrise Festivals

by Korea Tourism Organization
Korea Tourism Organization

Seongsan Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak area (Seogwipo-si, Jeju Self-Governing Province)

Description: Join the countdown and welcome in the New Year at Jeju’s premier sunrise attraction, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (also known as “Sunrise Peak”). Fishermen from every port will turn on their boat lights and blow their whistles in unison to mark the occasion. With the port town down below and a view of the sun coming up over the ocean, it is truly a spectacular sight to behold.

Introduction: Welcoming the first day of the New Year, Seongsan Sunrise Festival features a natural festival aiming to spread the natural values of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, a UNESCO World Nature Heritage Site, to see the old year out and the new year in, and to share the traditional culture and artistic themed-tourism among visitors. Peaceful Jeju Island invites tourists to this festival held in Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, featuring an impressive scene that hasn’t changed since the sunrise that was recorded in the Palman Daejanggyeong for the Goryeo Dynasty. Visitors can make wishes for the coming year and enjoy the fascinating sunrise at Jeju’s tourism spot.

Homepage: festival.jeju.go.kr (Korean only)

Ganjeolgot Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Ganjeolgot Cape Park and its vicinity (Daesong-ri, Seosaeng-myeon, Ulju-gun, Ulsan)

Description: Ganjeolgot is known as the seaside location where one can witness the first sunrise in Korea. People all across the nation gather to celebrate and watch the first sunrise of the New Year here. New Year’s celebrations also include a wide array of events such as fireworks, eating tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup traditionally eaten during New Year), and a wide range of performances. Nearby attractions include thick groves of
pine trees, oddly-shaped rock formations and an onggi (earthenware) village.

Introduction: Ganjeolgot Cape in Ulsan offers visitors impressive views of the sunrise and is part of the New Year’s Sunrise Festival every December. The festival starts at sunset on the 31st with cultural events followed by a year-end concert. In addition, fireworks displays, enjoying tteokguk (traditional Korean new years dish) and a wide range of performances fill the evening and last through the night. Visitors may also enjoy the “Starlight Observatory” and a 3-D production about Ganjeolgot Cape and the Ulsan area.

Homepage: ganjeolgot.ulsan.go.kr (Korean)

Maryangpo Sunset & Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Maryangpo Port and its vicinity (Maryang-ri, Seo-myeon, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do)
Description: Why spend New Year’s Eve indoors when you can spend it at this beautiful beach on Korea’s west coast? One of the few places that offer a stunning view of both the sunset and the sunrise, this sunrise festival venue has it all: a great location and lots of celebratory events such as a local specialty market and seaside bonfires.

Introduction: For sixty days before and after December 22, the sun will rise from the southeast, and a good place to view this beautiful, natural phenomenon is on Korea’s west coast in Maryang-ri. To celebrate this, the Maryangpo Sunrise Festival is held every year. Visitors here will witness a very special miracle of nature, as they will see the sun rising and setting in the same place.

Homepage: en.seocheon.go.kr (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

Homigot Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Homigot Sunrise Plaza (Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
 
Description: Homigot Cape and its beach area, where the Homigot Sunrise Plaza is located, is definitely one of the most popular places for watching the New Year’s sunrise due to its brilliant yellow and golden sunrise scenery. People can see a variety of performances and fireworks in the sky when the New Year’s Day approaches. In addition, people can also enjoy Korean folk games and taste local food like guamegi (partially dried herring or mackerel pike) or makgeolli (Korean rice wine) in the food market.

Introduction: Homigot, the main venue of the Homigot Sunrise Festival, is located on the easternmost point of the Korean Peninsula. Homigot means ‘village on a tiger’s tale’ and is also the location for the first sunrises in Korea.

The festival includes local cultural performances, a New Year celebratory event, fire show, sunrise concert and other diverse performances. Visitors may sample free tteokguk, a traditional New Year’s Day dish, during the special event of ‘Serving tteokguk for 10,000’. Other events such as kite-flying and launching hope balloons with wishes attached will provide enjoyable.

Homepage: eng.ipohang.org (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

Jeongdongjin Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Sandglass Park at Jeongdongjin Beach (Gangdong-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do)

Description: Get off of the train in Jeongdongjin Station and walk only a few meters to the beautiful beach and its large hourglass. The beach’s hourglass is so big that it takes one full year for the sand at the top to fall to the bottom. As 12am on New Year’s Eve approaches, the last grains trickle down and the hourglass is turned over once again as part of a grand ceremony, kicking off the brand-new year.

Introduction: The Jeongdongjin area became famous after the filming of the wildly popular drama, ‘Sandglass.’ The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and tickets for the special, ‘Sunrise Train’ to Jeongdongjin usually see out months before the festival.
   
Scenic pine trees, the emerald-blue sea, majestic cliffs, a tranquil coast, and rustic railways make Jeongdongjin one of the top tourist destinations in Korea.

Homepage: gntour.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Gyeongpo Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1
 
Location: Gyeongpo Beach (Jeo-dong, Gangneung, Gangwon-do)

Description: Gyeongpo Beach is well-known for its beauty, which shows itself in a different light throughout the year. On New Year’s Day, people gather for a huge celebration counting down the seconds until the New Year, watching fireworks and participating in an array of programs and cultural events.

Introduction: This New Year from December 31 to January 1, Gangneung City will hold its annual ‘Sunrise Event’. As well as visiting the area’s attractions such as Gyeongpodae town, visitors will be able to welcome in the New Year by watching a beautiful sunrise. The ‘Sunrise Event’ will include the countdown to the New Year, fireworks, and various enjoyable cultural events.

Homepage: www.gntour.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Yeosu Hyangiram Sunrise Festival

Period: Dec. 30 – Jan 1

Location: Impo Maeul Village (vicinity of Hyangiram Hermitage) (Dolsan-eup, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do)

Description: Hyangiram Sunrise Festival is an annual overnight festival attended by those who want to enjoy the sunrise scene. Beginning with gukak (traditional Korean music) performance, there are various events like the “Sunrise Singing Contest”, “Lighting Wishing Lanterns”, “Dance Festival”, “Family Film Festival”, and a lot more activities for the visitors to enjoy.

Introduction: Hyangiram Sunrise Festival is an annual overnight festival that begins on New Year’s Eve. It takes place at the historic Hyangiram Hermitage, which was built in year 644. As the New Year’s Day dawns, visitors can witness the sun rise above the horizon from Hyangiram, which literally means “a hermitage facing the sun.”

Homepage: ystour.kr/en (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese, French)

Korea Tourism Organization

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