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Azalea Festival at Mt. CheonjuIn search of the Flower Palace from the poem ‘Spring in My Hometown’

These days when the warm spring sun rushes the full bloom of spring flowers, we can definitely feel that the beautiful spring season is upon us. Spring is the season of blessing when all creation is being reborn, and in welcoming it, the City of Changwon will hold the Azalea Festival on Sunday April 11, 2011. This year the festival is celebrating its 16th anniversary and is overseen by the Azalea Festival Promotion Committee. The festival is celebrated in the whole area of the Dalcheon Valley of Waegam-ri, Buk-myun, Changwon City. The festival is annually held in Mt. Cheonju, and introduces the ‘Mt. Cheonju Flower Garden’ throughout the nation. It is held so that our citizens will value and love the Mt. Cheonju azaleas, which our ancestors from generation to generation cherished, and so that they will receive a sense of harmony and cultural inspiration and a love for nature and for their homeland. Begun on April of 1996, this event is held for one day around the time that azalea flower blooms.


Cheonju Mountain is 638.8m above sea level, and has the meaning of "a pillar which supports the heavens." Also, surrounding attractions include the Dalcheon Valley, the grave of Jeongryeolgong (Official of Virtue) Choi Yun-doek (Gyeongnam treasure no. 121) located in Daesan-ri Buk-myun, and the Mageum Mountain Hot Springs which have great medical benefits especially for those with skin diseases and decompression disease. Also, among the mountains in the country with a splendid view of azaleas, Mt. Cheonju is the most celebrated. It is also the background location of the children's poem 'Spring in My Hometown,' which the juvenile literature writer Lee Won-su wrote in longing over his younger days living in the Sodap-dong Changwon area. This poem expresses the sentiment of our people well and awakens the clear and pure innocence of our childhood. 'Spring in My Hometown' together with Arirang are the most favorite songs our people love to sing, and each phrase of the song lyrics contains images of Changwon and a taste of our hometown.


Activities at the festival include a variety of events such as Mountain marathon, a religious ritual for Mountain spirits, a singing contest and a concert of performing artists. There is also Buk-myun makguli (Korea's traditional rice wine) which will be provided at the entrance of the meeting zone area. In addition, people can try azalea natural dyeing, soap crafts and paper arts, and enjoy clown balloon magic exhibition, art competition and essay contest.


For details about the program schedule, places, and other information about this festival, visit the website, http://festival.changwon.go.kr/spring.

Ko Hye-young  khy2846@changwon.ac.kr

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