Many countries have their own festivals where simply having fun is among the goals. Thailand has the Songkran, India has the Holi Festival of Colours and Brazil has the Rio Carnival. However, not many people know that Korea has one of the one of the most unique and exciting festivals in the world that was just recently held, the Boryeong Mud Festival.
It is the one and only festival where people get to release stress and their inner child by rolling in fresh mud. Held annually in the summer, it is certainly a welcome festival to chase the summer heat away. The first Boryeong Mud Festival started in 1998 and by 2007, it attracted 2.2 million visitors to Boryeong. According to the Korea Tourism Organization, no other Korean event brings more foreign bodies. It has become so successful that Boryeong now has an image of being a “mud capital”. The festival started off as a promotional platform for Boryeong’s mud cosmetic products that include mud packs and creams but has grown to become an important cultural event in Asia. The sea mud is said to be rich in minerals, bentonites and germaniums, all of which promote excellent skin health.
There is a variety of activities to occupy visitors during the 2-week-long festival. Besides the mud slide and giant mud bath, there is the mud soccer. For those who frolicked enough in the mud, the romantic scenery of Daecheon Beach awaits. Its clear sea is a great way to wash off the mud. The beach’s white sands stretch for some 3.5km. Visitors can then enjoy the rest of the night with a drink in hand amid K-pop and EDM music at any one of the many beach party venues.
The festival has garnered numerous accolades and awards. It was selected as Korea’s best festival from 2006-2008 by the Ministry of Culture Tourism. It was later named Representative Festival of the Republic of Korea from 2008 to 2010.
The festivity reaches its climax on the final weekend. This year’s final weekend included a mini-marathon, concerts and a city parade and festival. As usual, the festival came to a grand ending with a large display of fireworks.