New Years Festival – Busan, South Korea

There was a countdown to the official sunrise, much like others countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve. Although there was no sign of the sun behind the low level clouds, a horn marked the event and in unison the thousands gathered along the shoreline let go of helium balloons, which briefly filled the morning sky.

When selecting a place to stay over the New Year period I thought that Haeundae Beach area would be good as it was near a scenic bridge that I figured would have a good fireworks show for New Years Eve.
It turned out that South Koreans do not really celebrate New Years Eve, but instead have Sunrise Festivals on the beach to welcome the first sun of the New Year. Sensing a good photo opportunity I set my alarm clock for half an hour before sunrise and wandered somewhat bleary eyed down to the beach, expecting a small crowd of celebrators.
I realised quickly as I struggled to get anywhere near the sand that the festival was much more popular than I expected something that early to be, with literaly thousands of people crowding the beach to greet the first sun of the new year.

A siren sounded at the official sunrise time and everyone in the large crowd let go of a helium filled balloon.

First Sunrise of the New Year

Low lying cloud blocked any sight of the sun at official sunrise, but the crowd stayed on a bit longer, cheering, waving and praying as the light of the first sunrise finally broke through the clouds. One or two of them even took pictures.

Judging by their bleary eyes and stagger, I’m sure many of the people on the beach that morning were dual celebrator’s, staying up all night to experience Midnight and Sunrise.

Busan Bridge 2015

Another light writing attempt, this time my wife managed to complete the writing and pose at the end.

This was the next beach along from Haeundae, a place we considered staying before the studio we got became available. It was an interesting area and had many modern restaurants and cafes. We enjoyed a delicious strawberry ice desert after our time at the beach.

New Years Fireworks

This was the bridge I was hoping would be the centre of a fireworks display, as you can see it is very scenic. Apparently they do have a fireworks festival here in October.

But why wait, when fireworks can be freely purchased from stalls along the beach and let off at will.

[content_box type=”with-header” text_color=”dark” title=”South Korea On the Go”]koreanbookThe above article contains extracts from ‘South Korea On the Go’ available on Amazon.[/content_box]

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