Waves of blue lights on white sand beach will make you a completely different and yet 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.)
Subway: Line 2 (Green Line), Haeundae station (해운대/203), Exit 3 or Exit 5
Call: +82 51-749-4062
(Information based on the visit in 2019, December)
Haeundae Light Festival
The scorching sun, dazzling white sand, crushing waves and the crowd with trendy swimsuits. Haeundae Beach (해운대 해수욕장) during the summer time needs no explanation, and if this is what you think of Haeundae when you hear of the name, I wouldn’t blame you. However, you are only half right. For recent years, Haeundae has become one of the top-of-mind destinations for the Christmas and Holiday season in Busan thanks to annual Haeundae Light Festival (해운대 빛축제).
It has been 6 years since twinkling lights and tall Christmas trees started inviting visitors to Haeundae. The festival will get 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 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit which was held in Busan from November 25 to 26.
The light starts shining at Haeundae Gunam-ro
Take 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, the edge of Gunam-ro. Gunam-ro is 490-meter (1600 feet) long and 30-meter (100 feet) wide four-lane road between Haeundae Beach and 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.
The Gunam-ro is filled with LED Christmas lights and decorations, 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 will be 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, now you will see the highlight of the festival, ‘Milky Way Lights’ on Haeundae Beach. The LED lights spreads out and resembles the twinkling soft waves. As you may expect, you will walk with a big crowd and it takes patience to get on the photo spots. But, it’s Holidays season, so what’s in hurry?
Haeundae-gu office expects more visitors to the festival than 2018. Last year, more than 1,360,000 people visited Haeundae Light Festival. Now, the event has become a nationwide famous, and it’s not hard to find international visitors as well.
Many readers ask about religions in South Korea. So, for your information, South Korea does not recognize any national religion. The constitution declares that all citizens shall enjoy 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 for the religious reason, 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 a bit further along the beach. You can enjoy more Christmas lights at Haeundae’s landmarks such as Busan Paradise Hotel and LCT Towers. 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.
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.