The Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the most popular annual festivals in South Korea, held annually in July. The festival takes place in the city of Boryeong at Daecheon Beach. The organizers of the festival acquired the mud from the Boryeong mud flats which was trucked to the beach where it is used in creating mud baths, mudslides, and mud swims. The beginning of the festival is marked by an opening ceremony and a closing ceremony at the end of the festival.
The Boryeong festival began in 1998 as an advertising initiative by a cosmetic company that uses the mud from Boryeong in manufacturing its products. The Boryeong mud is said to contain numerous natural minerals as well as germaniums and bentonites, which are good for the skin. The festival grew in prominence to become one of the most famous festivals locally and internationally. Media attention, as well as local attendance of the festival, has seen a significant growth of the festival. Currently, the festival attracts millions of visitors each year.
The festival includes a variety of activities suitable for different people with different tastes. The event includes such activities as mud skiing, mud swimming, wallowing in mud, wrestling in mud, face painting, music, and dance competitions. The small market along the sea front offers tourists an opportunity to purchase cosmetics made from the mud. Tourists also get the chance to enjoy a relaxed environment with health benefits in the beauty clinics. These clinics offer treatment services as well as acupuncture and massage therapy. The festival is also customized for children to enjoy with special mud pools. The festival includes a range of nighttime activities such as the Hip Hop Rave Party, World Skin Beauty Pageant, and the Firework Fantasy.
The origin of the festival as a form of advertisement on the benefits of the mud has created awareness among the people, locally and internationally. The festival has grown to become a major tourist attraction in the Boryeong region, and South Korea at large, resulting in increased foreign exchange and emergence of new tourist-related business. Besides learning and experiencing the benefits of the mud first hand, the festival provides a channel for the release of everyday worries for individuals through the numerous fun activities during the festival.
Attending the Festival
The Boryeong Mud Festival is a perfect way to enjoy the South Korean summer. For the festival, tourists require attendance tickets, which can be acquired in advance or during the festival. Most of the tickets go for about $10. Prices also vary depending on the tourist (adult or teen) and the period (weekday or weekends). Tourists are also advised to make plans for accommodation and transport in advance to avoid frustration. Besides the mud festival, tourists may visit other attractions around Boryeong such as the Black Eagles Show, the La Tomatina festival, the Seongjusan National forest. While at it, tourists may learn the Korean cultural and religious practices from some of the temples located in the city of Boryeong.