Lanterns to stay lit for 1 more week

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Lanterns to stay lit for 1 more week

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will extend its annual world lantern festival for one more week because of its popularity, officials said yesterday.

The Seoul Lantern Festival 2010 opened a week ago, timed to coincide with this week’s G-20 Summit. About 27,000 traditional and creative lanterns from 24 countries, including the G-20 nations, are on display along the Cheonggye Stream that runs through the city center. The event was originally slated to end Sunday.

“We decided to extend the event until Sunday next week to provide more attractions to foreign tourists coming to visit the capital and to local residents,” said Ahn Seung-il, a senior city official.

About 500,000 people visited the stream in the first week, city officials said. They expect total visitors to surpass 1 million this weekend. Traditional lanterns are especially popular to tourists for their splendid size and color, officials said.

Also drawing attention is a special, 3-meter-high (9.8 feet) lantern tower made of 2,000 smaller lanterns “to wish for the successful hosting of the G-20 Summit,” city officials said.

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