Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seoul Goes Green: St. Patrick's Day Festival 2012

Spring in Korea signals the arrival of festivals celebrating just about everything- cherry blossoms, canola flowers, snow crabs, green tea, ceramics, etc. This weekend, a friend of mine attended a festival dedicated solely to the sport of tug of war. Oh, and next month there will be a mime festival. The people of Korea work really hard, sometimes too hard in my opinion, but they certainly know how to go all out when it comes to celebrating. So when St. Patrick's day rolled around this month, it was no surprise there would be yet another festival

Led by the Irish Association of Korea, the event just so happened to land on the first warm, sunny day of spring. More foreigners than I've ever seen in Korea gathered at the D Cube Center in Sindorim, Seoul decked out in their best green attire. The venue, an outdoor auditorium, was the perfect medicine for the vitamin D deprived residents of Korea. Shortly after arriving and meeting some friends, I found myself amidst a crowd of both novice and experienced river dancers. I forgot about the hundreds of onlookers and focused on learning and keeping up with the steps. Anytime I'd mess up, someone would quickly grab my hand and lead me in the proper direction.

Traditional performances with a Korean fusion followed with the highlight being a Korean U2 cover band that rocked the stage while the enthusiastic made their way down from their seats to dance and sing. With beers in our hands and spirits high, my friends and I belted our hearts out and got our grove on until it was time to head over to the after party at The Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon. Here, the bands would make a second appearance and we would dance and sing once again, but this time with a little green in our drinks.

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