Cheonggye Plaza in central Seoul served on Friday as the venue of a very special event. It was the opening ceremony of the 2019 Seoul Christmas Festival.
Performers sang carol songs to warm up the atmosphere, and despite the bitter cold weather, many made their way to the event.
The highlight of the ceremony was the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, with public officials including the mayor of Seoul delivering messages of hope and peace.
"In the new year, I hope our society is filled with peace rather than conflicts, and I hope peace comes to North Korea, too. May peace and happiness be with everyone in the new year
"In this fifth installment of the festival, I hope those of us who are tired can find consolation, encouragement and harmony. I also hope the lights of Cheonggyecheon stream brighten the city, making this into a winter celebration and a world landmark for sharing love and happiness."
The festival which lasts until the first day of January next year takes place along some 1.2 kilometers of the Cheonggyecheon stream, from Cheonggye Plaza to the bridge near Jonggak station.
"Along the way, people can enjoy five zones with various LED light sculptures, including the Santa zone where people can feel as if they are in Santa's village."
"I came here with my friends and I think the scenary is so pretty. It is a good place to make memories."
"I came with my boyfriend and this is my first time here actually, it is so beautiful, colorful it is really good time here."
This is not the only place where you can enjoy the holiday spirit.
In Korea's southern port city of Busan where the ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit recently took place, the Busan Christmas Tree Cultural Festival and Seomyeon Tree Festival are two events that have already captivated residents and visitors alike with lights, colors, and all the joy of the season.
KIM Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.