Jinju Namgang Yudeung: A Festival Of Lights

Jinju Namgang Yudeung: A Festival Of Lights
Namgang Yudeung Festival, Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea Credit: Stock for you Photo Credit: 1000 Words /

Some main events include a parade through the streets of Jinju, fireworks above the river, hanging and floating hope lanterns, and floating memory lanterns commemorating those who fought in the battle.

Sakshi Tickoo
September 27 , 2022
02 Min Read

Every October, the most famous light festival in South Korea draws hundreds of thousands of people to the city of Jinju in the country's south.


The Imjin War's Jinjuseong Fortress Battle is when the floating lanterns (yudeung) celebration was started to deter Japanese forces from storming the Namgang River (1592–1598). Numerous lanterns are replicas of the stronghold and famous people, animals, and Korean cultural icons.

The Festival 

Colorful lantern decoration during the Jinju Lantern Festival in Jinju , South Korea

The enormous lanterns are not mere displays to be seen from a distance. You may stroll inside a lion's jaws, sit on a tiger's back, or sit on a lantern's lap. People love the photo opportunities. Every day, there are parades and cultural events. You may go to a workshop to build your own lantern, write your future objectives or wishes, and then float it down the river for good luck. You can also select to stroll via the lantern tunnel.

The skill and expertise that goes into making these handmade paper lanterns are incredible. It's beautiful to wander around during the day and see the intricacy and then to see them lit up beautifully at night. The breathtaking firework show above the river tops it all off, just when you thought it couldn't be any more magnificent.

Food And Fireworks 

People visiting stalls at the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival.

Who doesn't like a good food stall? Your Korean favourites, from hot and spicy rice cakes to big kimchi-filled dumplings, bowls of sweet shaved rice with fruit, and brown sugar syrup-filled doughnuts, are available during the festival. Foreign favourites such as hurricane potatoes, kebabs, and skewers are also available. You can wash them down with a Lightbulb juice, a glow-in-the-dark drink. 

The popularity of Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival has travelled to distant lands such as the Winterlude Festival in Canada, the LA Korean Festival, the Niagara Falls Winter Lights Festival in Canada, the Boarder Festival in the United States, and the Xian Wall Lantern Festival in China.

Night view of various sculptures of Yudeung(traditional lantern) on Namgang River during Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival

How To Reach 

To reach, take a bus from Seoul Nambu Terminal to Jinju Intercity Bus Terminal. Then take a 5-minute stroll. 

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