Today, I’ll introduce the Night of Jeonju & Heritage Story (’Jeonju Munhwajae Yahaeng’), one of many night festivals in Jeonju. The Night of Jeonju & Heritage Story is held in Gyeonggijeon Shrine and Jeolla Gamyeong (Joseon Dynasty Provincial Governor’s Complex). This year, this festival was held from the 18th to the 19th of June, between 18:00 and 23:00.
The festival has eight themes: light, cultural heritage, storytelling, bargaining, painting, performance, food, and travel. There were many experiences that people were able to participate in person. I stayed around Gyeonggijeon Shrine during the festival.
The Taejo (founder of Joseon Dynasty) and the cat characters were very popular among children. People had to line up to take photos with them.
In front of Gyeonggijeon Shrine was a brightly lit phrase “threading through the night while cherishing the history”. Many people wearing hanbok took photos in front of the phrase.
There were storytellers on the street telling folktales to children.
There were many experiences for families and friends installed in front of Gyeonggijeon Shrine: rock-paper-scissors, rod-fighting, drawing, arm wrestling, and many more.
Next to the entrance of the shrine were two interesting experiences: a small lamp-making and watching a video about the culture of Jeonju while lying down. Many took photos with the funny figures of the kings on the background.
Next to Gyeonggijeon Shrine was a flea market for young entrepreneurs. They sold many interesting things, from small handcrafts to pet snacks.
Gyeonggijeon Shrine hosts the royal portrait of Taejo. The festival included a guided tour through the shrine.
The Royal Portrait Museum is reopen after refurbishing. The museum shows how the royal portraits were made, which must be quite education for both adults and children.
The guide of Gyeonggijeon Shrine told many interesting stories about the history of the shrine and the royal household of Joseon Dynasty.
Many teams participated in the night concert at Gyeonggijeon Shrine. Jeonju City Children’s Choir was almost tear-shedding impressive. Also, the fusion pansori (Korean traditional musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer) and jazz performance was powerful and fun. It really felt like we are finally back to normal after the long tunnel of the Covid.
One of the experiences was small talks over tea. I was relieved to take off mask for a brief moment to enjoy the tea and snack. Everyone seemed happy here.
One of the performances was the storytellers’ explaining history through a dialogue: how the Joseon Dynasty started, how Hangeul was created, the story of the King Sejong the Great.
Children really loved performances with soap bubbles and magics. There were songs, balloons, and magics.
The painters were also popular. They drew people’s faces as if they are reborn as the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.
There were many performances with traditional musical instruments and choreographies. The quiet dance in the night view without any background music was so beautiful. Everyone enjoyed the performance without uttering a word.
The traditional parade capped the festival. Many were surprised by the magnificent sounds of the traditional musical instruments.
The majestic night view of Jeonju Hanok Village was the key to the festival’s popularity. The hanok village was more brightly lit than usual. The visitors were able to enjoy the illuminations inside Gyeonggijeon Shrine, which is usually closed to public at night. Also, many appreciated the night view in a quiet, healing, and relaxing atmosphere of Jeonju Hanok Village.
This year’s Night of Jeonju & Heritage Story (Jeonju Munhwajae Yahaeng) festival is still not over. The second festival will be held in September, with more experiences and performances. I hope you find this post motivated you to plan your visit to Jeonju!
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