Exploring the Sands of Time: 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk
Welcome to the reigning champion of Korean night walks, the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk, awarded “Best Nighttime Attraction” in the country by the Korea Tourism Organization. This event lures countless individuals to Jeonju every year, a festival on a special spring night to experience the history, culture, and ambience of Jeonju in full bloom. The spectacular 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk is back this year!
The 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk took place from May 26th (Fri) to May 27th (Sat), with a second chapter set for October 13th (Fri) and 14th (Sat) in the fall. The festival operates from 6 PM to 11 PM. It was a time to soak in the serene nighttime views of Jeonju, a city brimming with tradition, under the cool spring breeze of May.
The walk was organized around the slogan “Walking through the King’s Wishes in Pungpaejigwan”. It took place in the most iconic tourist spots in Jeonju, including the Jeonju Hanok Village, Gyeonggijeon, Jeollagamyeong, Pungnammun, and Pungpaejigwan.
Having earned the accolade “the quintessential Jeonju night experience,” the festival has established itself as an exemplary showcase of heritage utilization across the nation. This year, the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk comprised eight themes, namely, ‘Jeonju 8 Nights’, with 24 detailed programs lined up.
This year, the city aimed to elevate the charm of each sub-program, expand participatory programs, and foster an environment for locals and tourists to interact and blend into the celebratory mood.
Programs where you could feel the history and culture
As a blog reporter, I also had the opportunity to go around the 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk with my family and capture some beautiful moments. The event was packed with so many diverse programs, each adding a unique flavor to this rich and appealing festival.
Various stages were set up from Pungpaejigwan (Guesthouse), a flea market, and community performances were on-going. We got to witness the traditional arts of the city of Jeonju, crafted by local artists into a special festival, the Cultural Heritage Concert ‘Pungryu Hanmadang’. The sight of little friends dancing to songs was absolutely adorable!
Next, we visited the former Jeolla Province Office in front of the Wansan Police Station. We saw a healing camping program and a cultural heritage jamboree, both of which you could partake in with prior reservation.
At this site, we enjoyed various programs, such as traditional games and an escape room game themed around a real case recorded in the Jeolla Province Office Archives, the ‘Gang Tae-yoon Murder Case’. ️♀️
As we continued to wander, we encountered the historical ambiance of Honam’s prosperous city, ‘Jeolla Province Office’. The governor, who used to manage the Jeolla Province Office, was found narrating exciting historical tales to the visitors.
As the sun began to set and the sky was enveloped in darkness, we stepped into Pungnammun Plaza where countless tourists were adding color to a mural as part of the ‘Cultural Heritage Fantasy Graffiti’ program.
I even captured it on video. It was fascinating how the mural’s colors revealed themselves when dampened with water – a program that seemed particularly popular with the kids. In the vicinity, we could see tourists enjoying meals bought from the Nam-bu Market Hanok Village Night Market, or roasting their food on the go-nu (a traditional Korean grill).
This long weekend, the Hanok Village Night Market will be operating until Sunday, so I highly recommend checking out the plentiful food options there.
We then moved on to the area in front of Gyeonggijeon in Hanok Village. There were signboards set up for the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk, and pamphlets were available at the festival headquarters. We also noticed a good number of citizens having a great time participating in events such as ‘Catch the Cultural Heritage Tomb Raider’ and sticker collection activities.
In the vicinity of Gyeonggijeon, there were multiple attractions : from performances and flea markets to caricatures, providing various experiences for those on the cultural heritage night walk.
At the main stage near Gyeonggijeon, a gigantic mirror ball and twinkling lights cast beautiful reflections on the Hanok buildings. Various performances and parties unfolded here, but sadly, I couldn’t stay till the end.
Enjoying the Jeonju night scene is part of the night walk, and the twinkling lights made an indelibly memorable festival after sunset. ✨
At Gyeonggijeon, one of the popular programs of the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk, the ‘Gyeonggijeon Zombie Chronicles’ was in full swing. It reminded me of the popular drama ‘Kingdom’. You can make reservations in advance or purchase tickets on-site, so if you are brave-hearted, do give it a try!
Everywhere we went, there were contests where you could test your luck, strength, and stamina. These games, aimed at inciting the competitive spirit of tourists, even offered small souvenirs for participation, which was a delightful touch.
A program I personally recommend is the ‘Cultural Heritage Street Painter’. Right there on the street, they sketch caricatures on the spot. These artists, each with their own unique talent, complete intriguing portraits in no time. The high-quality portraits make the five thousand won participation fee completely worth it!
Up the stone wall path to the north of Gyeonggijeon, storytellers were sharing tales of Jeonju’s 500-year history in charming Korean accents. If any of their stories pique your interest, I recommend stopping to listen. I found myself losing track of time while engrossed in the enchanting stories!
Additionally, following the stone wall path, you’ll find a long flea market set up by the youth of Jeonju, where you can buy charming souvenirs from your time in Jeonju.
Eye-catching installations like the statue of King Taejo Lee Sung-gye and Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido caught our attention. We paused and captured these shimmering works of art in photos.
With a myriad of programs on offer, the 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk seems more abundant and colorful than last year, guaranteeing satisfaction for all tourists visiting Jeonju.
I hope that the title of ‘No. 1 Best Night Walk in the Nation’ continues to be held by the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk. Join this festival, walk along the twinkling stone wall path in Hanok Village, hand in hand with your loved ones. I urge you to come and create unforgettable, special memories in Jeonju’s night – at the Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk!
The post Exploring the Sands of Time: 2023 Jeonju Cultural Heritage Night Walk💫 appeared first on Jeonju City Blog.