The Seoul Lantern Festival, an annual Seoul city event that serves as one of the city's main winter tourist attractions,.. just kicked off a few hours ago.
Our reporter Kim Yeon-seung is at the site to give us the full picture.
Yeon-seung, what's that behind you?
Is that a tree-shaped lantern?
Yes that's right Jung-min, so those are lanterns shaped as trees.. and each has a sloth, a turtle, and a snail next to it.
This piece is called the 'slow tree,' and it's a reminder for city dwellers that it's okay to take a break and take it slow once in a while.
There are 82 more lanterns just like this one, and this goes on for 700 meters along this walkway.. all the way from Cheonggye-cheon falls up to the Jangtong-gyo bridge.
Putting these lights altogether, they compose this year's theme, “Forest of healing, the colors of Seoul”
Seoul city officials decided on this theme as they hoped to create a colorful forest that could offer a small piece of solace right here in this bustling city.
Jung-min, it is bit of a frosty winter night out here,.. but honestly, just looking at this beautiful array of night lights is helping me forget the cold.
I advise everyone who's tuning in right now to come on down to Cheonggyecheon stream within the next nine days.. and just take a leisurely stroll along the stream and bask in this colorful display of lights.
The event starts at 5 and ends at 9 PM everyday.
Certainly, the people who are already here seem to be enjoying the event.
"We came here to watch visit the cheonggye-cheon because we saw this announcement that there was this festival, but I couldn't come last year because of corona."
"I think like it gives all an opportunity just to be ourselves and enjoy atmosphere, because it's winter time, it's something new, you don't really expect people to be out in the cold but they are because of this beautiful festival."
"We saw through social media that there was going to be a lantern festival and came after our exams ended. I feel really refreshed and like my stress is going away."
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Right, but for those who miss it this year, will they get another chance to visit the Seoul lantern festival?
Most likely so
And for people who can't come this year, they can visit the Seoul Tourism Organization website to get a full-view of this event online.
The Seoul lantern festival has been an ongoing tradition for the past 13 years and it's become one of the most beloved winter events in Seoul city.
Close to two million people visit every year.
The festival always mostly takes place right here at the Cheonggycheon stream, except for last year, when the event had to be hosted amid the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time.
Unfortunately, officials had to break the festival up and disperse it around Seoul city, so that a mass crowd wouldn't flock to one place.
But with the 'gradual easing of restrictions' beginning in November, Seoul Tourism Organization brought back the festival to its rightful home, Cheonggyecheon stream.
Officials though are still taking extra care of prevention measures.
"We limit the number of guests to about 900 people an hour,.. and when they come in we check their temperatures and QR code, so that there's no issue with virus prevention."
That's all I have, but I'm going to stay here a little longer to enjoy myself.
Back to you, Jung-min