For the average visitor the festival is an amusingly great exhibition of floating lanterns, variously shaped and colored. Yet for locals, it's as meaningful as it is beautiful. The most famous light festival in South Korea attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every October to the city of Jinju in the southern part of the country.
The background story of the festival goes back to the late 16th century, namely to 1592, the bloody year of a Japanese invasion. The role of lighting lanterns was to ensure at least some communication between the family members that appeared to be on different bands of the Namgang River. However, today the lanterns are lit to honour 70,000 Korean warriors who sacrificed their lives for the sake of a free motherland. The annual street parade features thousands of Jinju residents carrying lanterns to commemorate fallen warriors. The parade has always been the main highlight of Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival.
The festivities take place every year in the period between late September and early October around Jinju Namgang River area. During the day, visitors can learn how to make yudeung or Korean floating lanterns, Hanging whishing lanterns. The festival also features live music, various workshops, theater performances, fireworks, and other cultural events.