Fall is a time for all kinds of festivals, as I mentioned in the last issue. Don’t forget that it is also about fireworks and several foreign events in Busan as well! This past weekend (two weekends ago as of this printing) I stumbled across the Busan Chinatown Festival. While walking around Busan Station, trying to find a British food restaurant I’ve been meaning to try, I noticed a growing crowd of people as I made my way through Chinatown. When I saw the lanterns and smoke from grilled lamb and heard loud music, I realized it wasn’t the ordinary day out I had anticipated. Several street vendors were selling lamb skewers for only one thousand won and other Chinese street food. China wasn’t the only featured country in this fun area though, as many Russian restaurants dot the street and were serving up their cultural food as well. If you’re ever in the mood around this time of year to take a bus ride into Busan, head towards Busan Station and enjoy the food, music, and fun!
On the same weekend there were also two other markets that I knew about. One, in Busan’s Song Sang-hyeon Square, the Earthling Flea Market was a place to go to get second-hands clothes and goods. The idea is to share and reuse and recycle items rather than throwing them out. I guess some people are trying out a phrase that doesn’t have much steam in Korea, “one man’s riches are another man’s treasures.”
The other event that I knew about was the Busan Foreign Culture Market where people sold all kinds of things from homemade food to arts and crafts, and much more. Some sponsor restaurants and businesses offer gift cards and other rewards. It’s a great way to learn about new cultures by meeting the people who make the goods and also support them. Much of the proceeds are donated for charity as well. I was looking forward to attending this market for the first time, but unfortunately wasn’t able. Luckily, it’s not a once a year kinda thing! The next event will be in a month on November 14th and is held at certain bars in Gwangalli. If you plan on going, look up Busan Foreign Culture Market on Facebook because I’ve heard many things are sold out very early at the events if you don’t pre-order!
At the time of this paper’s printing, the Gwangalli Fireworks Festival has just been held in Busan, but this article was written previously. I’ve been to the festival for the 3 years that I’ve been in Korea and everytime was great. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend getting their early (like noon) to get a spot on the beach with some friends and take turns visiting the bathroom and getting food. It’s the most crowded thing I’ve ever attended, but if you get there early with good people, and stay late after the crowds disappear, you will see a tremendous fireworks show synchronized with music that will be unforgettable.
Luke Hanson -
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