10 Best Korean Summer Festivals You Should Check Out!

10 Best Korean Summer Festivals You Should Check Out!

Summer is a time for fun festivals that draw crowds of tourists and locals together. And South Korea has so many of them. We're taking a look at the 10 best Korean summer festivals you should check out this year!

Haeundae Sand Festival (Busan)

A crowd on a sunny beach with red floater figures and sandcastles in the background

Image Credits: Marco Cantu Gea via Flickr

Busan is the place to go for sand and sun. Our first festival takes place here. You can attend this event either as a spectator or one of the artists creating beautiful sand castles or sand sculptures. Besides the competitions, you can play games and listen to live music. If you've been wanting to visit Haeundae Beach before, this is the perfect time! 

Dates: May 19-22, 2023; World Sand Sculpture Exhibition displayed until June 6, 2023 

Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival (Buyeo County)

Fireworks and lights on the water at the Buyeo Lotus Festival at night

Image Credits: Image via Korea Tourism Organization

In terms of underrated festivals, Boyeo Seodong Lotus Festival ranks very high. Dedicated to the lotus flowers blooming at Seodong Park, it's also a cultural event based on the love story between King Mu of Baekje and Princess Seonhwa of Silla. With countless lotus flowers, lanterns, and lotus-themed activities, it's the perfect event if you're looking for something more peaceful and relaxing.

Dates: July 13-16, 2023 

Boryeong Mud Festival (Boryeong)

Four women in swimsuits covered in mud standing in front of a muddy crowd

Image Credits: worknplay inc via Flickr

Now this is probably the most famous Korean summer festival. Boryeong Mud Festival is held annually at Boryeong, a city famous for its nutrient-rich mud used in face masks and cosmetics. As you might guess, it's a very messy affair. There are mud slides, mud pools, mud painting, mud wrestling - basically anything you can think of. You'll leave this festival happy and very muddy!

Dates:¬†ÔĽŅJuly 21-August 6, 2023

Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival (Jangheung County)

A crowd of people with water guns aiming at each other

ÔĽŅImage Credits:¬†ÔĽŅžú†Ž≥ĄŽāú Ū󹎩ĒžĚī via¬†Instagram

Let's switch from salt to fresh water. This festival promotes clean water from Jangheung Lake, Tamjingang River, and Deukryangman Bay. Besides the usual concerts, exhibitions, and water fights, visitors can compete to catch a golden fish with their bare hands. It's a special event that deserves more recognition - we definitely recommend you give it a shot!

Dates:¬†ÔĽŅJuly 29-August 6, 2023¬†

Busan Sea Festival (Busan)

Busan Sea Festival at night with crowds and lights

ÔĽŅImage Credits:¬†Busan Sea Festival¬†via Haps Korea Magazine

Back to the ocean. South Korea has several famous water and sea festivals (we've already mentioned some of them), but this is its first general sea festival and Busan's biggest one. Extending over five beaches, this event features live concerts, dance contests, and lots of water games. You'll stay cool and have lots of fun at the Busan Sea Festival!

Dates: August 1-6, 2023

Hwacheon Tomato Festival (Hwacheon County)

A crowd of people stomping and throwing mushy tomatoes into the air

Image Credits: Enjoy Holiday Tour Sdn Bhd via Instagram

Do you feel the need to get messy? Or do you need an excuse to squash something? Hwacheon hosts this unique festival, where you can toss and squash tomatoes to your heart's content. You can even hunt for a golden ring in a pool of these fruits! If you'd prefer to stay clean, then you can visit the stalls selling tomato products and try tomato-themed activities instead.

Dates: August 3-6, 2023

Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival (Incheon)

Pentaport Rock Festival stage with red spotlights

ÔĽŅImage Credits:¬†ÔĽŅLuis Canau via Flickr

Summer is the season for rock festivals, and Incheon Pentaport is the most popular one in South Korea. With Korean acts like Bibi and N.Flying and international acts like Nine Inch Nails and Japanese Breakfast, you can tell it's a fun and exciting weekend. The festival also features EDM, pop, and other genres for audience goers who aren't as fond of rock 'n' roll.

Dates:¬†ÔĽŅAugust 4-6, 2023

Sinchon Water Gun Festival (Seoul) 

People standing on a wet street behind traffic cones at Sinchon Water Gun Festival

Image Credits: Bao Huy via Flickr

We had to include one more water festival, because it gets HOT in the city! Seoul's Sinchon neighborhood becomes a battlefield for people of all ages who want to beat the heat. Besides the water gun fights, there are water slides, DJ and street performers, and wedding ceremonies. Yes, people actually get married at the Sinchon Water Gun Festival. Would you give this strange venue a try? 

Dates: August 12-13, 2023

Daegu Chimac Festival (Daegu)

Daegu Chimac Festival with stage and chickens onstage with fireworks overhead

ÔĽŅImage Credits:¬†ÔĽŅImage via Korea Tourism Organization

We mentioned this festival in our chimaek blog, but if you're unfamiliar with the term: chimaek (žĻėŽß•)¬†is Koreans' favorite combination of fried chicken and beer (or maekju,¬†Žß•ž£ľ). In Daegu, you'll experience this combo in a whole¬†new way through chicken and beer tastings and late night EDM parties. Whether you're going solo, as a couple, or with friends, you'll have an awesome time at this chimaek festival.

Dates: August 30-September 3, 2023

Muju Firefly Festival (Muju County)

A crowd of people releasing yellow lanterns into night sky

Image Credits: Korea Tourism Organization Malaysia via Facebook

Another hidden gem, our final festival celebrates the fireflies that thrive in Muju's marshes and are being threatened by pollution. Visitors will explore the marsh and learn more about the creatures that live there. They'll also watch live performances and fireworks displays. But the best part is releasing wishing lanterns and watching the fireflies come out at night.

Dates: September 2-10, 2023

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If you're in Korea to check out these amazing festivals, don't forget to wear a hat and sunscreen. Drink lots of water - hydrate, don't diedrate, Seoulmates. And if you're unable to make it to any of these events, try a Seoulbox for your travel and Korean snack fix!

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