I was at the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival taking place in Yeouido Park and Yeouiseo-ro (behind the National Assembly building) on April 8, 2017!
Cherry blossoms are the harbingers of spring. Every year in April, as winter ends and spring begins, tens of thousands of Koreans, as well as tourists, come out in droves to Yeouido to admire the symbolic flowers of spring – cherry blossoms! This year was no exception!
The magnificent blooming of the small, delicate pink and white flowers is truly a sight to behold, but sadly, the life span of the exquisite cherry blossom doesn’t last long.
Just like the transient nature of beauty and life, the flowers drop to the ground and wither after blooming for only two weeks. In Japan, Cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life – that life is beautiful, but yet tragically short.
To some Koreans, cherry blossom, which is the symbol of Japan, reminds them of the country’s painful past, as most of the cherry trees in Korea were planted by the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation.
Nonetheless, to celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossoms, street performances, parade troupes, singing performances, ice-skating rink, photo booths, caricature booths are showcased yearly at the 7-day festival.
According to historical records, the origins of the festival dated back to the Tang dynasty of ancient China (618 – 907 AD). During the great Tang dynasty, China was a cultural giant in East Asia, and its influence spread to Japan and Korea. The Japanese adopted many of its cultural practices, including the annual flower viewing.
I was bewildered by the beauty of cherry blossoms as well as the liveliness of the Korean people. They were basking in the scent and sight of the flowers, taking photos and enjoy their spring retreat joyfully with their friends and families.
Strolling along the dreamy street dotted with 1,886 cherry trees, it was a memorable and unforgettable night for me.
Street food vendor
The National Assembly building
Gukhoe-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (Behind the National Assembly Building)
- Alight at National Assembly Station (Subway Line 9)
- Exit 1 or 6
- Walk for around 5 – 8 minute
Song Composed by the Little Angles of RideToFreedom 骑行三千公里的壮歌