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Korea’s Cherry Blossoms and 2014 Spring Flower Festivals

Recent Posts, Posted by Matt in ALL DESTINATIONS,Best of DK,Chungcheong,Festivals & Holidays,Gyeonggi,Gyeongsang,Jeju,Jeolla,Nature,Seoul, 10 Comments

Korea’s Cherry Blossoms and 2014 Spring Flower Festivals


koreas-cherry-blossoms-and-2014-spring-flower-festivals

***UPDATE 3/30: Due to unseasonably warm spring weather, many festivals are running earlier than scheduled. Please check the individual events for the latest information.

I can always tell when Spring is near because my inbox gets inundated with questions about Korea’s spring flower festivals! It’s that time of year again, so without further ado, here’s my annual guide to Korea’s Cherry Blossoms and 2014 Spring Flower Festivals!

Among Korea’s cherry blossom and spring flower festivals in 2014, the most popular is undoubtedly the Jinhae Naval Port Festival (April 1~10), now in its 52nd year! For those in the greater Seoul area, the Yeouido Hangang Spring Flower Festival (April 12~20) is always a huge draw. But the distinction of Korea’s first flower fête goes to the Gwangyang International Maehwa Festival (March 22~30).

Whichever of Korea’s spring flower festivals in 2014 you’d like to visit, I hope the information below can help you plan your trip. Do note, however, that spring flowers are a fickle lot, so check the festival websites as dates change.

Now… let’s take a look at Korea’s Cherry Blossoms and 2014 Spring Flower Festivals! (in chronological order):

(17th) Gwangyang Maehwa Festival (광양국제매화문학축제)

(Maehwa Village, South Jeolla Province)
March 22~30, 2014
Traditionally one of Korea’s first spring flower festivals, Maehwa Village’s 83 acres of apricot trees cover the Baegunsan mountains with their white blossoms. In addition to flower watching, the festival features lots of music, dance and experience programs. (more info: call +82-61-797-2721 or visit the KTO page.)

(15th) Gurye Sansuyu Festival (구례산수유꽃축제)

(Gurye, South Jeolla Province)
March 22~30, 2014
Gurye is famous for its teas, liquors and food made from the cornus flower, also known as the Japanese Dogwood. These flowers are said to protect the liver and skin. Gurye is a picturesque farming town located between Jirisan mountain and the Seomjingang river. Visitors can enjoy performances, hands-on programs, fireworks and a national arm wrestling competition! There are also three important Buddhist temples and the Jirisan Hot Springs Resort located nearby. (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(16th) Seogwipo Rapeseed Flower International Walking Festival (서귀포유채꽃 국제걷기대회)

(Seogwipo City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province)
March 28~30, 2014
Jeju Island is famous for its beautiful fields of yellow rapeseed (or canola) flowers. Now in its 16th year, organizers of this walking festival are welcoming Koreans and foreigners, alike, to get some fresh air and exercise while enjoying the gorgeous view. (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the Daum page. (in Korean)

Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival (화개장터 벚꽃축제)

(Hwagae Market, Hadong County, South Gyeongsang Province)
March 29~30, 2014
Held since 1993 around a historic marketplace in lovely Hadong County that’s a crossroads for three provinces, the festival highlight is a six kilometer road that is lined with mature cherry trees, and nearby several great cultural attractions. (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the KTO page or http://toureng.hadong.go.kr/04festival/01_02.asp)

(52nd) Jinhae Naval Port Festival (진해군항제)

(Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province)
April 1~10, 2014
The big daddy of all of the spring flower festivals, Jinhae’s world-famous flowering cherry trees boast the world’s largest concentration of the spring favorite. The festival dates back to 1952 and celebrates Korea’s greatest naval hero, Admiral Yi Sun-shin. At the festival, climb aboard a recreated turtle ship, a modern naval ship, view the Naval Academy Museum, and just enjoy the beautiful harbor and cherry trees! Don’t miss the “Romance Walk” near Jinhae Train Station. (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(14th) Nonsan Strawberry Festival (논산 딸기축제)

(Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province)
April 2~6, 2014
Home to some of Korea’s tastiest strawberries, the festival invites visitors to pick (and eat) as many strawberries as they can, not to mention purchase any number of strawberry treats to take home. In addition to the food is fireworks, an exhibition, hands-on activities and a visit to Nonsan’s specialty market. (more info: call +82-41-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(15th) Icheon Baeksa Sansuyu Flower Festival (이천벡사산수유꽃축제)

(Icheon Baeksa Village, Gyeonggi Province)
April 4~6, 2014
For over 100 years, the beautiful sansuyu, or Japanese dogwood tree has grown naturally in the Baeksa Village area of Icheon. During this festival, participants can play traditional folk games and watch a parade. The festival is a popular attraction for amateur and professional photographers. (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(23rd) Jeju King Cherry Blossoms Festival (제주 왕벚꽃축제)

(Jeju City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province)
April 4~6, 2014
Due to its southern location, Jeju Island typically hosts the nation’s first spring flower festivals. Among the most popular, the Jeju King Cherry Blossoms Festival takes place in the downtown Seogwipo area and the Citizen Welfare Town. Festival events include live music. (more info: call +82-64-728-2754 or visit the KTO page.)

(10th) Yeouido Hangang Spring Flower Festival (여의도봄꽃축제)

(Yeouido, Seoul)
April 12~20, 2014
Seoul’s best location to see cherry blossoms is on Yeouido Island. Specifically, the road behind the National Assembly building is lined with hundreds of mature cherry trees that were planted before many people even lived on the island. For a few short days every spring, the island erupts into a riot of pale pink blossoms, and some four million people are expected to visit. (more info: call +82-2-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(32nd) Jeju Canola Blossom Festival (제주도유채꽃축제)

(Seogwipo City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province)
April 12~13, 2014
Jeju Island’s southern location means it’s the first place to experience spring, and the burst of spring color. Starting in February, Jeju’s landscape is covered in the bright yellow yuchae, or canola blossoms. At this festival, visitors can purchase various locally-made canola flower items and celebrate the coming of spring! (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

Cheongpunghoban Cherry Festival

(Cheongpungho Lake, North Chungcheong Province)
April 11~13, 2014
Lake Cheongpungho is the site of this spring festival, which features not just cherry blossoms, but also azaleas, forsythias and other wild flowers. Beyond the beautiful spring blooms, the festival features great performances, exhibitions, competitions and various activities on the nearby lake. (more info: call +82-43-1330 / +82-43-641-4870 or visit the KTO page.)

International Horticulture Goyang Korea (고양국제꽃박람회)

(Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province)
April 25~May 11, 2014
One of Korea’s largest flower shows in Korea, visitors will enjoy displays of cut, potted and flowering plants, bonsai, bulbs, ornamental trees and wild flowers, among much more. The show also includes performances and hands-on experiences! (more info: call +82-54-1330 or visit the show homepage.)

(16th) Hampyeong Butterfly Festival (함평 나비대축제)

(Hampyeong, South Jeolla Province)
May 2~May 11, 2014
See tens of thousands of butterflies frolicking around over 8,000 acres of rapeseed flowers in Hampyeong’s celebration of butterflies, and all insects. Definitely a unique festival and experience! (more info: call +82-54-1330 or visit the KTO page.)

(16th) Damyang Bamboo Festival (담양대나무축제)

(Damyang, South Jeolla Province)
May 1~6, 2014
Damyang is famous for its forests of bamboo trees. This festival has a long history, originating from the feast held at the end of the bamboo planting season. Sample bamboo alcohol and food! (more info: call +82-61-1330 or visit http://bamboofestival.co.kr/)

(40th) Boseong Green Tea Festival (보성다향제 녹차데축제)

(Boseong County, South Jeolla Province)
May 2~6, 2014
Probably Korea’s most famous tea growing region, the orderly hedges of tea shrubs create a picturesque backdrop for Boseong‘s annual green tea festival, which offers visitors a number of tea-related cultural activities and even green tea themed foods, like green tea ice cream and pork belly! (more info: call +82-61-850-5577 or visit the KTO page.)

(18th) Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival (하동야생치문화축제)

(Hadong County, South Gyeongsang Province)
May 16~18, 2014
Beautiful Hadong County was recently named one of South Korea’s first “slow cities” for its embrace of traditional culture. It’s also where the first tea plants were grown in Korea. The area retains its heritage by harvesting high-grade teas using traditional methods. The annual festival offers many tea and ceramics-related activities, as well as concerts and a temple stay program. (more info: call +82-55-1330 or visit the KTO page.). .
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10 Comments

24 March 2014 02:02

Kim

Hey Matt. I just stumbled across this awesome site! Holy cow! Why do more people not know about this resource??? Anyway, first of all, thank you for making this awesome wealth of knowledge. Secondly, I have a private group on Facebook called Kim in Korea that I use to educate my friends, family and a few others along the way about Korea. It’s only about 280 lol so it’s nothing spectacular, but it’s my small put to play in telling the world how wonderful Korea is. :) When I decided to move here, you wouldn’t believe the questions and comments I received. Well, ….maybe you would lol being a native from America, you know the mindset and average limited global attitude…lol….at least in Texas. Ok, so I have added my Korean friends to join in the group to hopefully create some sort of educational opportunity for everyone, but that hasn’t worked out as planned because most of them are too shy to converse with strangers no matter how lively they are in person among friends. lol…is anything ever how we plan it? lol Anyway, so I have fallen in love with Korea and planning to relocate permanently….again ‘this is the plan’ lol so my fingers are crossed. I’ve never been happier in my entire life….lol….and I’m pretty old. :P So I am just so stoked to find your site! I currently live in Daegu and will be here through June, then I’m moving to Seoul. I will most def start passing your site to people here. I think many will benefit from your information! But I also wanted to tell you that I am going to be sharing tons of your posts from here with my group. :) I really think this site will be great stuff to share with everyone. Hope you are enjoy the beautiful Korean spring weather! If you’re ever in Daegu, let me know, and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee! :) Well, through June….lol. After August, I should say “If you’re ever in Seoul…..” :P Cheers! ^^~

March 31 2014 14:02 pm

Matt

Hi Kim,
Thanks a lot for your email and enthusiasm! My mother is in Daegu so whenever I'm in Korea it always includes a trip down south :)
Best, Matt

28 March 2014 22:18

Nina

Hello. I love your site. I want to know if there is a place in Seoul where it’s nice to spend Autumn. Thanks! We are planning to visit at the last week of September.

March 31 2014 02:54 am

Matt

Hi Nina,
Thanks for your inquiry. Seoul is a wonderful place during the autumn. I'm written a post specifically about where to see autumn leaves in Korea. At the bottom of the article are some links to more articles, some of which are specific to Seoul. I hope you find it helpful:
http://discoveringkorea.com/130930/when-to-see-autumn-leaves-in-korea

Best, Matt

1 April 2014 13:19

Pia (Life of Pia)

Thanks for the info – I arrive in Korea in late April so miss a lot of the festivals but hopefully will be able to catch a few of the later ones. :)

April 08 2014 01:36 am

Matt

Good luck!
Best, Matt

7 May 2014 12:31

Analou

Hi Matt!
I’m loving your site..pool of info~ I missed the Spring :(.
So i’ll try next year..Just wanna ask which month is best to visit S Korea in bloom?March or April?

Huge Thanks!

Analou

May 08 2014 07:55 am

Matt

Hello Analou,
Thank you for your question. April is probably your best bet^^

Best, Matt

23 June 2014 09:47

Bomyi

Hi Matt,

This is Bomyi from Goyang International Flower Foundation.

Thank you for uploading above information for everyone to enjoy their spring in Korea.

Especially, International Horticulture Goyang Korea 2014 :) .

If you happen to visit Korea in Spring during our exhibition, please do visit us! I hope you could also have fun at our show.

THANS A LOT ! :)

With best,
BOMYI

July 15 2014 15:02 pm

Matt

안녕하세요 Bom-yi씨!
It's my pleasure. I hope you had a wonderful show this year!
Best, Matt

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