In Korea, the two Jeolla-do Provinces are considered to have the most number and variety of savory dishes. Gwangju city is one of the country’s prime producers of the ingredients that supply the nation’s Kimchi that you eat, including, cabbage, garlic, onions and salt. Kimchi that is produced in these regions have richer and deeper tastes, thanks to their ample use of ingredients, such as salt-fermented seafood and red pepper powder. Those who have never tasted kimchi that is richly seasoned with salt-fermented seafood, which is common to these southern provinces, may, at first, be taken aback with its strong smell and taste.
However, it is that particular smell and taste that further stimulates one’s appetite. The Gwangju World Kimchi Festival, where there are numerous opportunities for participants to make and taste different types of kimchi, is popular among foreigners who are not quite familiar with kimchi. Under the grand theme of kimchi, visitors can make baechu kimchi (Cabbage Kimchi) or gat kimchi (Leaf Mustard Kimchi) and even fry buchimgae (Pan-friend Pancake) with mugeunji (Ripe Kimchi). A sip of cold traditional makgeolli (Traditional Korean Rice Liquor) with a bite of the golden brownish buchimgae is enough for people to understand why Jeolla-do Provinces are famous for their foods. Kimchi beginners are recommended to ease their way with fusion dishes, which are also available at the festival. Other distinctive foods of the Gwangju area, such as sangchu twigim (Deep-fried Lettuce Wraps), a local dish that has a unique sweet yet piquant taste, are especially popular among foreigners. Visitors can also purchase high-quality agro-fishery products of Jeollanam-do Provinces at lower than market rates.
Gwangju World Kimchi Festival is held to promote one of the famous locally produced specialties, Kimchi. The nation’s singular Kimchi themed park, Gwangju Kimchi Town is the venue for diverse kimchi-related programs like cooking experience, art gallery, kimchi market, and other entertaining events. Also, the Presidential Prize will be awarded for the ‘Kimchi Master Competition’ held along with various hands-on programs. Participants can take home kimchi that they made themselves at the festival.
Sponsors / Management
Gwangju-si / Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival Organizing Committee
May 26-27 First event, Sept. 22-23 Second event, Nov. 17-19 Third event, Nov. 22~Dec.10 Fourth event
Free admission / Participation fee may apply for additional experiences
From Yongsan Station or Seoul Station, take a train to Gwangju Station. From Gwangju Station, take bus Yongbong No. 83 or a taxi to Jungoe Park (중외공원).
From Seoul Central City Terminal or Dong Seoul Terminal, take a bus to Gwangju. From Gwangju Bus Terminal, take bus Sangmu No. 64 or a taxi to Jungoe Park.
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