Merry Christmas from Korea! Besides a few twinkling roundabout decorations and lights hanging from windows of major shopping malls, Ulsan unfortunately doesn’t offer much in the way of holiday spirit. However, Busan is a whole different story!
From November 29, 2014 to January 4, 2015, along a lengthy stretch of Gwangbok-ro in Jung-gu (Busan), people of all ages are invited to take in the Christmas Tree Cultural Festival! A quick subway ride on the orange line can take you right to Nampo-dong Station (use exits 1 or 3), where you can begin a merry stroll down one of the city’s best known shopping districts. During the evening the street is closed to traffic so pedestrians can safely enjoy the sales and oversized cotton candy, and take an unlimited number of selfies with beautiful lights in the background.
While categorizing the event as a “festival” may be a bit generous, there’s still enough to see and do to make it worth the trip. Music performances often take place in the evening in front of the “Main Tree,” located in the center of the action. Got a Christmas wish? Write it down and hang it on one of several little trees to make it come true! Between regular retail shops on the main street and abundant knock-off stands to be found tucked into any side alley, there’s something to meet every Christmas shopper’s needs. And don’t worry, if you get hungry you have your pick of street food carts and restaurants from which to choose!
It may not be a Silent Night (as there will likely be thousands of other shoppers in attendance), but it will certainly give you the holiday cheer you’re looking for. So come on down and have yourself a Korean little Christmas!