Seoul Events and Festivals

(Seoul, South Korea)

Gyeongbok-gung Palace ceremony photoSeoul has a variety of fun festivals and events throughout the year, which celebrate the culture of the city, as well as religion, holidays and art. Major events to take note of are the Hi Seoul Festival, the Seoul Tano Festival in June, and the busy Lunar New Year, which usually happens either in late January or early February.

Visitors are always welcome to join in the city's celebrations, making holiday times the perfect time for a visit. Things do get busy, however, so remember to book in advance if you want to be here for a major event.

Seoul Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Seoul Lunar New Year - this big event happens in either January or February and brings the city to a halt, where locals celebrate with family and transport is choc-a-block


  • There are no significant events held in Seoul during the month of February other than the Lunar New Year (see January above)


  • Seokjeondaeje Memorial Rite - this important religious festival honours Confucius, with performances by a traditional court orchestra. Officials dress in old ceremonial garb at the Confucius Shrine at Sungkyunkwan University
  • Memorial Day - this significant day in March honours those who died in battle, as well as fallen student protesters who were killed in the Daegu riots in 1960


  • Lotus Lantern Festival - honours Lord Buddha's birthday, with lantern-making, a flea market, and a Nori-Madang (outdoor stage) festival. Monks carry lanterns in procession from Chogyesa Temple and along Chongno Street


  • Hi Seoul Festival - this five-day event features drama performances, parades, traditional ceremonies, food fairs and light shows and is lots of fun


  • Prehistoric Cultural Festival - if you want to see another side of Korean culture, check out the Prehistoric Cultural Festival, which details the country's heritage through the re-enactment of Pawijol Folk Funeral Games. Food stalls and fireworks are also part of the festival
  • Seoul Tano Festival - games at this fun family-friendly event include rope skipping, stick-tossing (chachigi), and wrestling (ssirum), while traditional music and dance performances are also part of the event


  • Holiday Season - going from late July to early August, South Korea's holiday season is perhaps best avoided as the city, transport, attractions and hotels throng with holidaying locals


  • Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival - this enjoyable event is held in the COEX Centre every year and features six days of movie-watching


  • Baekje Tomb Festival (Hansong Paekche Cultural Festival) - celebrated over three days to commemorate the Hansong and Paekche Kingdom empires, who helped shape Korean culture. There is folk dancing, a folk fiesta, and a dazzling procession
  • Seokjeondaeje Memorial Rite - this same religious event is also held in March at Sungkyunkwan University


  • Seoul Performing Arts Festival - artists come to the city each October from the likes of Russia, Germany, and even Iran, for dance performances and competitions
  • Seoul Drum Festival - local and international artists perform with traditional and electronic drums and percussion instruments


  • Busan International Seafood and Fisheries Expo (BISFE) - although out of town, the Busan International Seafood and Fisheries Expo in mid-November is a must-see for foodies


  • Christmas - celebrated the world-over, Christmas is a special time for Korea's Christian population and sees Christmas carols in shopping malls, streets festooned with lights and trees, and present-giving on December 25th