Gwangbokjeol: Korea’s Liberation Day

Yesterday was the Korean Liberation Day, also known as Gwangbokjeol, which in Korean means The Day the Light Returned. This day is celebrated on the 15 August in both North and South Korea and commemorates the liberation of Korea from the Japanese Imperial rule in 1945 after World War II.  South Korea, along with its allies from the U.S.A and Russia helped over throw the Japan’s colonisation.

In the sweltering month of August, Seoul puts up small celebrations around the city. All homes, and buildings are encouraged to put up the Korean flag to commemorate the day. You can see many girls dressed up in pretty hanboks (traditional Korean dress) all around the Jongno areas and around the Imperial Palace a Gyeongbokgung.

Yesterday, I went for a walk along Insadong in Jongno 2-ga and came across a small concert of traditional Korean dancing and music. It was boiling hot, but the dancers kept up a strong face amidst their running mascara and make-up melting from the heat. This summer of 2016 in Korea has been an abnormally hot one!

I was on my way to the palace, but got side tracked to Samcheong-dong. A somewhat up market area situated behind the palace. I had never actually walked through here before. It ha many winding streets with a mix of traditional Korean and modern homes situated high above on the hills.

There were lots of cool boutiques and trendy cafes to relax and check out. I found a cute little smoothie café that sold an array of freshly made drinks called 10am Café. They had a banana and almond smoothie, which tasted a lot like my favourite Kauai smoothie called The Gem. Kauai is a popular health food restaurant in South Africa!

There were lots of cool shops selling accessories on sale and were def worth the gander. There were many upmarket vintage stores as well. Jongno is also full of cool galleries and museums showcasing modern and traditional forms of art. You can also find many photo studios where you can rent and wear a traditional Korean Hanbok for both men and women.

 

Have a cool summer!

Anyeonghaseyo,

Bee

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