UPDATE : 2020.10.5 Mon 09:33
Let's enjoy ‘Jinhae Gunhang Jae’!Korea's largest cherry blossom festival takes place in Jinhae.

The ‘Jinhae Gunhang Jae’ (Naval Port Festival) in Gyeongnam will be reborn. It is Korea’s largest cherry blossom festival, and it has been held around the old downtown of Jinhae. But this year’s 49th festival will be planned as a representative festival for the integrated Changwon City, as a result of last year’s integration of Changwon, Masan and Jinhae. The event will continue for 10 days at the beginning of April.

This festival is proud of its long history and tradition over the past 49 years. It originated from the time when the bronze statue of Admiral Lee Sun-shin was erected at Bukwon Rotary on April 13th, 1952 with a memorial service for him. This service included events for the purpose of honoring his ideals of saving the country and promoting native culture and arts. Eventually, it developed into a spring festival for enjoying culture and art, watching performances, and visiting a market with goods from all 8 provinces, in addition to the beautiful cherry blossoms.

The festival will be held from April 1st through 10th. In the past, the dates have been very changeable, depending on flowering of the cherry blossoms. From now on, the festival time will be fixed.

Koo Bang-whoi, secretary-general of the corporation of ‘Meeting for the enhancement of Admiral Lee Sun-shin's country protection spirit,’ said, “We are preparing various new things to see. In particular, more than 200 citizens will participate in a traditional ganggangsulae dance and a revival of the highest level state examination to collect its participants on the internet will attract tourists."

It is expected that a cherry blossom city tour will come to be a local specialty. The tour bus circulates from the old army college in Jinhae to Anmin tunnel, Polytechics, Changwon main road, Masan hillside road, Machang-bridge, and Jangbok tunnel. In addition, a 22,000t Japanese cruiser with 500 or more passengers will enter Masan harbor. There also are various other events to see, such as a military uniform fashion show to display military history, the Jinhae world military band honor guard festival, a war victory performance, a cherry blossom concert, and fireworks.

The '2011 Jinhae world military band honor guard festival' will be held from April the 8th to the 10th. And it is known that 18 teams from 6 nations will participate. Along with a performance at the public stadium of Jinhae-gu, a street parade and concert will be held on Changwon main road and 3.15 Art Center, respectively. Foreign teams include the Dutch Royal Army Band, the French Artillery Unit Band, and the Thai Royal Naval Band.

CCTV's will be installed at Jinhae-gu Resident Hall, Gyeong-wha Station, Jungwon Rotary, and Anmin Hill. These are known as the places with most beautiful cherry blossoms. The CCTV's are for a live display of flowering on the Changwon city homepage and electronic display to promote the city from March 15th to the end of the festival.

Various events to revitalize the local economy are also being prepared. For instance, they include programs to enjoy the festival even at night, a traditional market, and discount events at raw fish town. For details about the program schedule, places, and other things about this festival, please visit the website, http://gunhang.changwon.go.kr.

Ko Hye-young  khy2846@changwon.ac.kr

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