May is one of the best times of the year to visit Korea, with perfect temperatures and flowers blooming throughout the country. If you’re looking for things to do this May, you’ve probably heard of the Lotus Lantern Festival occurring each year during this time. But there’s more to do in Seoul, Busan and all Korea, so scroll through this listicle to discover the best events to attend this month!
New Zealand wine lovers, mark your calendars! The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea, or “The Kiwi Chamber,” will once again host a set of wine festivals in Seoul and Busan under the theme “Flavours of New Zealand.” Attendees will be able to reconnect with their favorite vintages and discover captivating new varieties while enjoying the superb Kiwi-themed gastronomic buffet.
For more information, you can check our Seoul event listing and Busan event listing (June).
Damyang is a city in Jeollanam-do, in the South of Korea, mostly known for its bamboo forests and the Bamboo Festival occurring each May. Damyang Bamboo Festival celebrates bamboo in all of its forms, like food, art, and furniture. Programs such as a bamboo fair, a bamboo-cutting sword championship, bamboo rafting, etc. will be featured.
Boseong Green Tea Festival, also called Boseong Aromatic Tea Festival is held in the largest green tea plantation of Korea. You can learn all there is to know about green tea by participating in various programs: tea leaf collecting and making, tea culture classes, tea ceremony, exhibitions, tea market, performances and more.
The Lotus Lantern Festival is originally a Buddhist event celebrated the week before the birth of Buddha. Now, it is only a cultural event that Koreans come to celebrate all together, no matter what their religious background is. Each big city has its own, such as Seoul, Busan, Daegu, etc. The festivities are featuring lantern parades, traditional lanterns displays, traditional cultural events, and performances.
Samcheok Rose Park is the largest rose park in the world, with more than 10 million flowers and 200 varieties of roses. Located in Samcheok, on the east coast of South Korea, the Samcheok Rose Festival welcomes visitors to walk the fragrant paths and to participate in various activities, such as rose tea tasting, canoe & kayak riding, cultural exhibitions and performances, and many more.
Greenplugged Seoul is held every year at Nanji Han River Park, around mid-May. As it names suggests, this an environmentally-friendly music festival, and thus all the festival’s printing is done on recycled paper and soy ink. Often referred to as Korea’s Coachella, this festival features seven different stages, where you will be able to enjoy various genres of music, from rock, R&B, Hip-pop, indie music to electronic.
Held annually since 2007, the Seoul Jazz Festival is a two-day festival that will take place in Songpa-gu. For this year’s festivities, famous international and Korean artists will join. Look forward to Clean Bandit, Rudimental, Fitz and The Tantrums, Dean, Crush, Leehi, and many others. 1-day pass and 2-days passes are available.
Busan Port Festival is an 11-year-old event promoting Busan Port, one of the world’s top-5 seaports. The main purpose of this festival is to get people to learn about the port history, industry and its future. In order to do so, the festival holds numerous programs: Busan Port ferry tour, performances, firework, vessel showcase, mini-kayak experience, etc.
Pohang, also called the “City of Light and Fire”, is located in the South East part of South Korea and is mainly known for its seaport and the Pohang International Fire & Light Festival. Occurring each year, this festival drives a lot of tourism coming from all over Korea to see the fireworks. This year, the program includes firework shows from Japan, Korea and Canada, but also a light & fire parade, a music festival, and other activities.
Even art normies can enjoy this exhibition! James Jean is a Taiwanese artist based in Los Angeles, famous worldwide for his contemporary art. His exhibition “Eternal Journey” is being displayed in Lotte Art Museum, Seoul and features more than 500 different works, such as large-scale paintings, sculptures, stained glass work, video art, etc.