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[Well-curated] A weekend for fall-time festivities

Sept. 22, 2023 - 09:02 By Kim Hae-yeon By Hwang Dong-hee By Park Yuna
The Namhae German Village pop-up event is held at Project Rent in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. (Kim Hae-yeon/ The Korea Herald)

Namhae Oktoberfest comes to Seoul

A limited-time pop-up event introducing Namhae German Village is being held in Seongsu-dong through Tuesday.

The event sheds light on how Namhae German Village -- a village built by Koreans who went to work in Germany primarily as nurses and miners in the '60s and the '70s and returned to Korea after retirement, many of them with their German spouses. The village was first settled by about 75 families.

The event showcases photos and maps of Namhae German Village and explains how the idea of hosting an Oktoberfest in Namhae, mirroring the well-known festival in Germany, came about.

At the pop-up event, visitors can try sausages, small bites and bottled beer from Namhae-based breweries.

They can also browse through an array of souvenirs and stationery with designs and themes inspired by Namhae German Village.

The Namhae German Village pop-up event is held at Project Rent in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. (Kim Hae-yeon/ The Korea Herald)

Soaps and candles decorated with a Namhae theme (Kim Hae-yeon/ The Korea Herald)

Meanwhile, this year's Namhae German Village Oktoberfest is scheduled to take place from Oct. 6-8.

Pop-up event visitors can register for a guided tour of Namhae during the festival period. The tour package is priced at 99,000 won per person, and covers transportation and accommodation for one night.

Visitors can also participate in a lucky draw event at the cash register by sharing their pop-up experience on social media, attaching photos for a chance to win canned beers and souvenirs.

The event operates daily from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dancers perform at the Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival. (Songpa-gu Office)

Hanseong Baekje festival and Olympic Park's cosmos hill in bloom

This week, Seoul's eastern district of Songpa-gu is celebrating the rich heritage of Hanseong Baekje, dating back 2,000 years. Songpa is steeped in history as the first capital of the Baekje Kingdom (18 BC to AD 660) and is home to historical relics such as the Seokchon-dong ancient tombs, and Pungnap Toseong and Mongchon Toseong -- two fortresses that formed the boundaries of the royal capital.

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at the Olympic Park's Peace Gate, with an opening ceremony featuring media art, a traditional Korean musical production, traditional dance and some K-pop acts.

Two concerts are set to take place on Saturday -- one from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another that starts at 7 p.m. -- featuring music, dance, singing and martial arts performances. The closing concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday promises a delightful mix of drama OST performances, live bands and street dance shows.

Don't miss the food market near Hanseong Baekje Station Exit 2, open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Peace Plaza also offers activities like maze adventures, mini zip line, plus a variety of hands-on and craft activities for children, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

For a detailed schedule and lineup, visit the festival’s website or SNS. If you're interested in delving deeper into Baekje's history, check out the Seoul Baekje Museum located in Olympic Park.

Yellow cosmos are in bloom at Deulkkolmaru at the Olympic Park, Songpa-gu, Seoul, on Sept. 8. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)

While you're near Olympic Park, visit Deulkkolmaru, a small hill in the park where you can enjoy a wide variety of flowers spring through autumn. September marks the cosmos season and they are already in full bloom this week.

With its blue skies, a small lookout hut atop the hill and endless waves of yellow and orange flowers, it has become a trending must-visit destination for the fall season.

Bijain hanok in Eunpyeong Hanok Village (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Private hanok opens to visitors

If you've ever wondered what a hanok looks like inside, the inaugural Seoul Hanok Week, running through Wednesday, is a chance to go inside one.

On Sunday, a total of nine hanok, or traditional Korea houses, in Bukcheon Hanok Village and Seocheon Village in Jongno-gu, central Seoul and Eunpyeong Hanok Village in Eunpyeong-gu, northwestern Seoul, will open to the public.

Hwigyeomjae, in Bukcheon Hanok Village, is one of the hanok that will open up for viewing. Built in early Japanese colonial era (1910-1945), it incorporates Japanese and western elements. Bijain hanok in Eunpyeong Hanok Village, meanwhile, is a contemporary hanok used as both a residential space and space for cultural activities.

Hwigyeomjae in Bukcheon Hanok Village (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

While the opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., some hanok have different opening times. For more details, visit the official website of Seoul Hanok Week before your visit.

Some hanok hotels in Bukcheon Hanok Village are offering a discount during Seoul Hanok Week.

Classical music concerts will be held at 5 p.m. from Friday to Sunday at Yeorlin Songhyeon near Gyeongbokgung Palace. The 37,000-square-meter space in Songhyeon-dong, central Seoul, is also where the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2023 is currently taking place.