The Korean Boryeong Mud Festival

Boryeog Festival photo

The mud at Boryeong is supposed to be excellent for the skin, so much so that the mud passed the safety tests for US Food and Drug Administration acceptance in 2004 – so that products from the mud can be sold in the United States. The mud cosmetics now on sale at Boryeong include mud soap, mud shampoo and mud massage cream. The mud is said to contain ‘many mineral components and said not to be contaminated by foul water’.

The 2004 Boryeong Mud Festival was the first ‘Mud’ Festival I have ever attended. Festivals are very popular in the summer time across Europe and other countries, although this most commonly takes the form of music festivals, so a mud festival was a first for me. One of the biggest festivals in the world and one that I have been lucky to attend three times is the Glastonbury Music Festival in England. With a size of 900 acres, dozens of music and entertainment stages and tents and with over 125,000 people at the annual 3-day festival, it is worth a visit if you are in England and can manage to get tickets. In Europe there are some crazy festivals though, every year, and these include the:

Nine day ‘Running with the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain (whereby people actually do run with the bulls and where some people get seriously injured).

  • Tomato Festival in Spain (whereby people in the city have a huge tomato fight).
  • Annual wife carrying festival in Finland.
  • Festival of the Snakes in Italy.

And the one I would recommend most of all, the Munich Beer Festival in Germany. Many days of heavy non-stop drinking.

The World Cup in Korea in 2002 was a fantastic event and one that seemed to embrace many of the traits that make festivals in Europe so popular. The feeling of people coming together for something positive; the feeling of excitement and fun; and the chance to escape for a few days from the usual daily routine. Many festivals in Korea seemed to be cultural, art, dance or peace related festivals. The interesting mix of Korean festivals seems to reflect the traditional and cultural interests that still attract great attention. The next time I visit Korea though, I want to visit the ‘Yangyang Pine Mushroom Festival’. I love mushrooms and I am curious about what the Pine mushroom tastes like.


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