Waves of blue lights on a white sand beach will make you an unprecedented and unforgettable memory of Haeundae. Let’s jump into this year’s Haeundae Light Festival.
Haeundae Light Festival – Annual Year-End Event
264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 27, 2020 (lighting between 5:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.) Check out this year’s schedule on Haeundae-gu Office Tourism and Culture Department’s website.
Subway: Line 2 (Green Line), get off at Haeundae station (해운대/203), Exit 3 or Exit 5. Walk to Haeundae Beach.
- Website: Haeundae-gu Office Tourism and Culture
- Call: +82 51-749-4062
(Information based on the visit in 2019, December)
Haeundae Light Festival
The scorching sun, dazzling white sand, crashing waves, and the crowd with trendy swimsuits. Haeundae Beach (해운대 해수욕장) during the summertime needs no explanation. And, if this is what you think of Haeundae when you hear of the name, you nailed it. However, I am afraid that you are only half right. In recent years, Haeundae has become one of the top destinations in Busan for the Christmas and Holiday season thanks to the annual Haeundae Light Festival (해운대 빛축제).
It has been six years since twinkling lights and tall Christmas trees started inviting visitors to Haeundae. The festival will fill the visitors full of holiday spirit from November 16, 2019 to January 27 next year. This year, the festival started earlier than previous years for visitors and guests to the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit. The summit was held in Busan from November 25 to 26.
The light starts shining at Haeundae Gunam-ro
Ride the subway Line 2 (Green Line) and get off at Haeundae station. Come out through either Exit 3 or 5, and Haeundae Light Festival starts right from there, Gunam-ro street. Gunam-ro is the main street connecting Haeundae Beach to the Haeundae Subway station. The highlights of the festival include the 18-meter-tall Christmas tree at the Event Square and the ‘Milky Way Lights’ on Haeundae Beach.
Endless LED Christmas lights and decorations fill Gunam-ro, and, of course, you can hear the Christmas carols at every step. You can enjoy busking performances at Haeundae Culture Square (해운대문화광장) which is located at the center of the road. Even better, Christmas carol competitions are held here. FYI: if this place looks familiar, credit Korean Drama ‘The King: Eternal Monarch’. The scenes in which the King (Lee Minho) plans ‘New Year’s Moonlit Walk With The King’ in episodes 9 and 10 to capture Lee Lim (Lee Jung-Jin) were filmed here.
Milky Way Lights, the Highlight of Haeundae Light Festival
After you walk through under the main Christmas Tree at the Haeundae Square, you will now see the highlight of the festival, ‘Milky Way Lights’ on Haeundae Beach. The LED lights spread out and resemble the twinkling waves. As you may expect, you will walk with a big crowd and it takes patience to wait for your turn at photo spots. But, it’s the Holidays season, so what’s in hurry?
Haeundae-gu office expects more visitors will come to the festival this year compared to 2018. Last year, more than 1,360,000 people visited Haeundae Light Festival. Now, the event has become famous nationwide, and it’s not hard to find international visitors as well.
Regarding Christmas, many readers have asked me about religions in South Korea. For your information, South Korea does not recognize any national religion. The constitution declares that all citizens shall enjoy the freedom of religion. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, about 44% of South Koreans have religions as of 2015, and Protestants, Buddhists, and Catholics are the majority of them.
Although South Koreans are diverse regarding religion, Christmas is a big holiday in this country. Christians celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. And, others enjoy the season as a delightful holiday while an old year goes and a new year comes.
More lights along Haeundae Beach
When you visit Haeundae Light Festival, walk further along the beach. You can enjoy more Christmas lights at Haeundae’s landmarks such as Paradise Hotel Busan and LCT Towers. If you want to dine out on holiday at Paradise Hotel Busan, here is my post for restaurants at the hotel: Restaurants at Paradise Hotel Busan
If the temperature is way too low (which is rare) or the winter wind is blustery (which is frequent), Shinsegae Department Store or Lotte Department Store in near Centum City would be good alternatives to enjoy dazzling Christmas trees.
For more information about Haeundae Beach, I have another post on Busan’s most-visited beach.
Other Christmas Light Festival in Busan
This year (2019), you can experience three major light festivals in Busan: Haeundae Light Festival, Busan Christmas Tree Culture Festival in Nampo-dong, and Seomyeon Christmas Tree Festival.
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