Friday, 2 October 2009

Merry Chuseok

It's Chuseok day, here in Korea. I never thought I'd see this happen, but the entire city of Seoul has pretty much shut down. In fact, this started happening as of Thursday. Even the construction workers stopped with the drilling and banging, to take a rest and give thanks. I heard that Chuseok (or Korea's version of a harvest festival) is an even bigger holiday than Christmas, here.

Yesterday, a bunch of the Seoul strays (friends who've stayed in the big city over the holiday weekend), decided to head up to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Insadong to check out the Changing of the Guard ceremony... and to find this beautiful stream that we learned existed in the back of the palace grounds.

It was a great way to start the holiday -- with a traditional Korean cultural experience. In fact, because of Chuseok, there was a sign up on the ticket counter that said people wearing traditional Hanboks could enter for free.... and many did.

Here are some photos from the day.

This little girl walked by with her mother during the Changing of the Guards ceremony. I loved the colour and cute little Hanbok.

Gyeongbokgung Palace and the royal Changing of the Guards ceremony.

Korea is amazing. There's these fabulous, centuries-old palaces that are preserved so well, all over the country... and all around them are these growing, towering metropolis'.

Me with one of the royal palace guards. We could take photos with them as long as we didn't touch them...

I saw this photo in a guide book that my friend, H, gave me in Toronto. I was determined to capture the real deal on my own camera.

K and I take a break by the stream to play with the catfish. Doesn't the backdrop look fake? Thanks, C, for taking this shot.


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