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NO : 150 Date : Mar/25/04 15:29
Name : gohmestay/ E-mail : <info@gohomestay.com>
Subject : Refreshing, Exciting, Dynamic Hi Seoul Festival 20
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In May, residents and tourists will gather together for an exciting festival in Seoul, a city which boasts a rich and diverse culture with a 600-year-old history. The vibrant city will buzz with even more excitement.

The Hi Seoul Festival 2004 will be held in major areas around Seoul and capture everyone in a 9-day period of fun and excitement, starting from May 1 to 9. Venues include the City Hall Plaza, the royal palaces, the World Cup Park, the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and areas of Insa-dong, Sinchon and Hongdae and Daehangno streets, which are famous among college students.

The annual Hi Seoul Festival bagan last year and is an international festival that showcases the history, tradition, diversity and uniqueness of Seoul, displaying Seoul's dynamism and unity to the world.

The theme for this year's festival is "RED," which stands for "Refreshing, Exciting and Dynamic," where the city will convey these 3 elements during the festival. RED also symbolizes the dynamism and unity that were previously shown by the Red Devils, avid supporters of the Korean national soccer team who famously gathered in the City Hall Plaza during the 2002 World Cup. The Hangang(River) captured in the background of the official poster, serves as a memorable backdrop and to show the city's commitment in making the festival an exciting and memorable event for all.

For further information on the Hi Seoul Festival 2004, please visit the Hi Seoul Festival Web site (www.hiseoulfest.org) or call (+82-2) 6321-4477~81. (English service of the Web site will be available later than this coming April.)

The followings are major programs of the Hi Seoul Festival 2004.

White Night Festival
When: 5 p.m. May 8 ~ 8 a.m. May 9
Where: City Hall Plaza
"White Night Festival" will be a night event held on the streets demonstrating dynamism and diversity of Seoul.

Prior to the main event, a street cheering from the 2002 World Cup will be reenacted. As the opening events, “Seoul, Light in Motion (PiGi Show)" held in front of the City Hall building, a laser performance and an air show with motor paragliding will be presented.

As part of the festival, various "Hanryu (Korean wave)" stars, leading the popularity of Korean pop culture in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, will stage a concert and a fashion show. Concerts by indie and rock bands, a non-verbal performance "Nanta 2004," and fireworks are scheduled to take place until 2 a.m.

From May 8 evening until May 9 daybreak, special performance programs under various themes will be available at various shopping areas, for instance, "Dance" in Dongdaemun, "Music" in Myeong-dong, “Traditional Culture" in Jongno, "Colorful Performance" in Mugyo-dong and "Band Concert" around the Daehangno, Sinchon and Hongdae areas.

The White Night Festival is a pivotal event in the Hi Seoul Festival in promoting Seoul. In collaboration with the Korea National Tourism Organization, the Hi Seoul Grand Sale will be organized at major tourist attractions like hotels, duty free shops, restaurants, palaces, art museums, etc.

Soemeoridaegi and Tug-of-war

When: 12 p.m.~2 p.m. May 9
Where: City Hall Plaza
Soemeoridaegi is a traditional folk game played on the full moon of the Lunar New Year in the Yeongsan region, southern Korea. The tug of war played out by citizens will take place on May 9 for two hours at the City Hall Plaza, a chance to showcase traditional culture and the unity of citizens.

Seoul, Light In Motion

When: 8 p.m.~10 p.m. May 1~8
Where: City Hall Plaza
To celebrate the completion of the lawn-covered public square in the City Hall Plaza, a three-dimensional image show "Seoul, Light in Motion" is scheduled to take place to herald the start of the Hi Seoul Festival. It is scheduled for four sessions (each session within 20 minutes).

Seoul Friendship Fair

When: 2 p.m.~ , May 9
Where: City Hall Plaza
In celebration of Europe Day on May 9, the Seoul Friendship Fair will hold a wide variety of programs including foreign classical concerts, diverse folk performances of international sister cities of Seoul, dance performances from various countries and chorus performances by international children.

In the back garden of the City Hall, visitors will be able to participate in smaller scale folk performances, puppet plays, pantomimes, magic performances, exhibition of picture by foreign children, junk art exhibition and more.

On the streets of Mugyo-dong, a global food and culture festival with around 40 countries participating is planned. At the City Hall building from May 8 to 9, animation films and international youth short films will be also screened.

Seoul Palace Festival

When: May 1~9
Where: City Hall Plaza
The Seoul Palace Festival to be held at various royal palaces in Seoul, including Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung and Gyeonghuigung, will portray Seoul in both traditional and modern aspects through royal cultural events. The followings are detailed programs for each of the palaces.

At Changgyeonggung (2 p.m.~ , May 1)

The Ceremony of Letter and Gift Acceptation from Neighboring Countries will be held to demonstrate Korea's numerous diplomatic relations with neighboring countries like Southeast Asian countries, disproving the fact that Korea only had timeserving diplomatic ties with China.

At Gyeongbokgung (3 p.m.~ , May 2)

The Coronation Ceremony of King Sejong, one of the most highly regarded national ceremonies practiced in the Joseon Dynasty, will be reenacted to present the magnificence and solemnity of royal ceremonies.

At Gyeonghuigung (2 p.m.~ , May 5)

With the coming-of-age day on May 17, the Coming-of-age Ceremony of the Crown Prince will be held to refresh the personal and social responsibility of becoming an adult.

At Jongmyo (Royal Shrine) (10 a.m.~ , May 2)

The Jongmyo Jerye (Ritual), enlisted in the World Heritage List, will take place at Jongmyo. It refers to a memorial service performed by the king, his crown prince, relatives and high-ranking civil and military officials, with the royal carriage at the head of the procession.

In addition, the following will accompany the planned event; Joseon Dynasty Royal Banquet on May 2 at Changgyeonggung, the Children and Youth Folk Festival on May 5 at Changgyeonggung, Children's Essay Contest on May 5 at Gyeonghuigung and the Special Royal Guard Changing Ceremony on May 8 at Changdeokgung will take place. They will offer the opportunity for tourists to newly discover the traditions of Seoul.

Street Parade

When: 3 p.m.~ , May 9
Where: Dongdaemun Stadium-Jongno-Gwanghwamun-City Hall Plaza
Traditional parade groups, domestic and international military bands and foreign performance groups are expected to participate in the street parade, which will start at Dongdaemun Stadium. Along with the military band and the honor guard of the army, navy and air force, a Samba dance group from Brazil, a traditional dance group from Russia, street bands from Australia, Italy and Mexico will join the parade. This will give the parade an exotic touch, offering citizens the chance to taste a whole new experience.

Rock Festival "Exciting in Seoul”

When: May 1~7
Where: World Cup Park
The rock festival "Exciting in Seoul" will be held at the World Cup Park in Sangam-dong, southern Seoul, accompanied by a variety of colorful concerts by indie bands and school bands. In addition, a joint concert will be organized by inviting popular Korean and Japanese singers. Other events to take place are Hiphoop, which is a new sport incorporating hiphop and basketball, B-boy Battle, a new cultural code of teenagers and those in their twenties, and game festivals by professional gamers.

Seoul Food Festival
When: May 1~9
Where: City Hall Plaza, areas in front of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and Kyobo       Book Store
The Seoul Food Festival will be held in various areas to allow the public to enjoy and taste traditional foods of Seoul. From May 8 to 9, major dishes and foods of Seoul will be displayed near the City Hall Plaza, and will also showcase free sampling events of beer and makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine. Additional food festivals are also slated to be held in front of the Sejong Center of Performing Arts and the Kyobo Book Store in Gwanghwamun.

Hi Seoul Flea Market
When: May 8~9
Where: Jeongdong-gil
"Hi Seoul Flea Market" will open on the streets stretching from the City Hall annex building to the Kyunghang News Daily building, selling a wide variety of secondhand items donated by citizens. There will be also swap meets for toys and art crafts.

Women's Marathon for a Healthy Life
When: May 2
Where: Pyeonghwa Park, World Cup Park
Sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and KBS and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Women's News will host the biggest race event for women in Korea. Participants will start their race at the Pyeonghwa Park within the World Cup Park. Runners who complete the course will be given free coupons for breast cancer checkups and various health-related services such as measurement of obesity level as well as free exercise passes.

Cheonggyecheon Festival
When: May 1~9
Where: Dongdaemun and Cheonggyecheon areas
"Cheonggyecheon (Stream) Festival" is to help recognize the historical meaning behind the restoration of the stream, and to allow ordinary citizens of Seoul and small shop owners in the area to better understand each other. The festival is expected to feature a wide rage of events such as folk games and a street parade. During the festival, "Hi Seoul Grand Sale" will be also available in the area.

Arm Wrestling Contest
When: May 1~9
Where: Gyeonghuigung(Palace)
"Arm Wrestling Contest" will be held at Gyeonghuigung along with other traditional games. The contest will be divided into several divisions: couple division, women division, youth division, etc.

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