Citywide Carnival for Citizens DayA parade of international cultures on Sejong Road, a drum festival featuring percussive instruments from around the world, and performances by underground bands… that's the line-up for today's Seoul Citizen's Day. And that's not all. A variety of festivals will run throughout the week until Oct. 29, in various parts of Seoul.
Seoul City has ambitious plans to make this celebration an international success. It has expressed hopes that it may become an annual event on a par with Brazil's Rio Carnival.
More than 45,000 drummers will perform at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts and the public squares of 25 ward offices every day until Oct. 29 for the "Sejong Drum Festival 2000." Instruments range from traditional Korean drums like the changgu (hourglass-shaped drum) to "Nanta"-style experimental percussion (teaspoons, cups, and other kitchenware). More than 20 domestic and overseas bands will take part. Be sure not to miss the Irish band with its five-meter "Millennium Drum."
Residents from overseas will show off their traditional cultures and customs – including food, crafts, dance, - in Yongsan Family Park's Global Festival from 1-6 p.m. today. About 500 people from 25 countries are expected to take part.
Participants in the Drum Festival and Global Festival will parade through downtown Seoul, led by percussion ensembles. The drummers will walk from Sejong Road to Chonggak through Anguk Dong. Meanwhile, the Citizen's Parade team will travel from Chongmyo to Chongno sam-ga and then to Sejong Road. There will be special surprise events along the parade routes. One district is expected to hold a techno dance party.
Seoul officials have divided the city into five sections and have prepared a variety of activities to suit each area's character. On Sunday, the antiques row in Insa Dong will feature lantern making and traditional musical performances. Shinchon, the heart of youth culture, will host underground music groups. The shopping district of Tongdaemun will host a family fashion show and contests will special prizes. The arts and culture area of Taehakno will feature a flea market and traditional dancing. Call 02-731-6237 for more information.
by Kim Sung-tak