Lanterns light up dreams in Seoul

November 06, 2019 - 11:14

Hundreds of lanterns in the forms of various cartoon and legendary figures are on display along Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul.

Lê Hương

SEOUL — Hundreds of lanterns in the forms of various cartoon and legendary figures are on display along Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul.

Various lanterns depicting legendary figures are displayed at the festival. — VNS Photos Đoàn Tùng

The Seoul Lantern Festival 2019 celebrates its 11th anniversary, with the theme “Seoul’s Dream, Flowing with Light”.

The event is one of Seoul’s largest autumn festival, which has attracted over 23 million people over the past decade.

The festival has become one of the best tourist destinations.

The event this year consists of four sections, namely Cheonggye Plaza – Start of A New Dream; Cheonggye Fountain to Gwangtonggyo Bridge – Seoul, Dreaming of Future; Gwangtonggyo Bridge to Jangtonggyo Bridge – Seoul, Sparkling with Memories; and Jangtonggyo Bridge to Supyogyo Bridge – Seoul, Flowing with Tradition, where visitors can enjoy the lanterns, as well as VR experiences.

A visitor takes a picture of lanterns.

“I am with my family for holidays here,” Luna Rahman, a tourist from Malaysia, told Việt Nam News. “My kids like it very much because there are so many animations and lanterns displayed.”

This year, the event introduces new themes for adults and children, like fairy tales, musical installations, moon models and other experiences.

Foreigners enjoy the festival, too.

David Gerrity, a tourist from Ireland, enjoyed the festivities in Seoul.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s very beautiful. Many people will come to see it.”

The event, which receives some 2.5 million tourists each year, will close on November 17.

Cheonggyecheon (Cheonggye) stream was formed by a small stream during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It disappeared in the 1960s due to sanitation problems, road expansion and urban infrastructure.

Then a so-called Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project was started on July 1, 2003 and completed on October 1, 2005.

The stream has provided citizens with a place to relax and and new attractions for tourists.

About 190 million Koreans and foreigners visited the area between 2005 and 2015 after the opening of Cheonggyecheon.

The event will run till November 17 and is expected to draw some 2.5 million visitors.

The stream also contributed to the improvement of the urban environment by lowering the temperature by more than three degrees Celsius. — VNS