London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Boryeong mud festival

Mud festival

What is it about the mud festival, which just finished this last Saturday in Boryeong? I see it mentioned in Seoul magazine as one of the highlights of the Korean cultural calendar, on the Seoul Selection website, and this week it’s been in the Chosun Ilbo and on the Yonhap site. Is it really a “traditional Korean” festival (albeit only 8 years old), or is it something dreamed up as an opportunity for foreigners to make fools of themselves (and for men to sneak a quick peek at all the female flesh on show)? The reason why I ask is that all the publicity images I see are of white people thinking it very funny to undress and roll in the mud: I don’t see any jolly Koreans behaving like two year olds. Can anyone help?

Update 14 June 2007 – if you check out the official Boryeong website, you find lots of Koreans looking silly too. The English language media only seem to show foreigners being silly. There are even more Koreans who seem attracted to this bizarre event. More photos in today’s post here.

Send in your stories from the 2008 festival.

5 thoughts on “Boryeong mud festival

  1. I love your web site I hope to come one year to your thing and have alot of fun do gust that I will see you when I’m off one year do not stop what you are doing ok it will always be mudding gone on here were I am I would like to see your truck Iam looking for a truck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It is a long standing Korean event well known by average Koreans. From what I can tell from my first visit last Saturday is now, more than half of the visitors are young foreigners from many different places. I could see this event could someday turn into a massively popular “Burning Man” type festival… and I’m sure the Korean tourist boards are hoping this is the case. Images of foreigners are being used to promote the event but there are lots of Korean families attending. I went with an international, but mostly Korean, group supported by Incheon City Government. We had at least one grandmother and many children in tow who had a blast. I would definintely attend again!

  3. Thanks for the info Vince. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m not sure that it’s high on my own priority list for my next trip to Korea, but glad it seems to enjoy such widespread popularity.

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