Monday, October 18, 2010

Gimje Horizon Festival

Last weekend we went to the Gimje Jipyeongseon (Horizon) Festival for the day and it was way more fun than expected. There's a festival in Korea every weekend it seems - sometimes more than one. Next weekend we're going to try and fit in a fireworks festival in Busan and the bibimbap festival in Jeonju. But that's not what I'm writing about today. The Horizon festival celebrates the rice harvest and the natural beauty of Gimje.

Gimje's about 25 minutes away from Buan by bus, but the journey can take as little as 15 minutes depending on how bat-shit crazy your driver is. Here, Tom worries about what degree of crazy our bus driver will be. Unfortunately we got a rare slow bus driver on this day and the trip took 35 minutes! Outrageous.

The first thing we saw was a traditional Korean dance, called a Samulnori or Nongak (Farmer's Dance). I like the awesome pom-poms the dancers wear on their hats. While we were watching the show, Lauren and I were photographed by a few of the locals. Being Western in Korea is not unlike being a celebrity, everywhere I go I have people running up to me to say hi and sometimes take a picture. I don't know how I'll cope without it when I go home.

Wandering around the festival were a number of people who were dressed in hanbok and painted to match. This guy was hilarious, but I like this picture because of the girl in the foreground.

All around the festival were farmyard scenes, in random places. It seems that along with 'harvest,' 'awesome hats' was also a theme.

Dominating the centre of the festival were these immense dragon sculptures, made from bamboo. I wish we'd stayed at the festival into the evening, as apparently they were lit up at night and looked even more impressive.

The children in this pit-thing were catching fish. We never established why but we were hypnotised and spent a good half hour watching the kids scramble about and yell at each other.

There was also a contest to make the world's longest Tteok (rice cake). The tteok looped around the table a few times and was insanely long. If you have a close look at the picture of the two dragon sculptures (a few photos up) you can see the line of tables in the background which stretched for almost half a kilometre.

Bill Clinton, Jackie Chan and Barack Obama were all picking rice (and wearing awesome hats!)

Tom and I both fed cows, but we skipped on milking a cow....

... but there was a huge line of people who wanted to give it a go. The cow was not happy after 'having a bunch of people pull on her tits all day' (not my quote) and she kept hitting people in the face with her tail. I am heartless because I couldn't stop giggling.

Possibly the best part of the festival was catching grasshoppers. It was an activity meant for kids, but we took advantage of our otherness and grabbed nets and cages and jumped, squirmed and screamed for almost an hour. It was so much fun!
Inside this container are 3 grasshoppers, I swear.
 Finally, we checked out the traditional food stalls. I liked this huge pile of crabs:

The festival was pretty cool, and judging by the 6 kilometres of cars we passed on the way out, it was a hit as well.

1 comment:

  1. bro i laughed out loud at the Barack, Jackie and Bill hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha that was just about the funniest thing ever in my entire life!!!! I love your writting