ICHEON RICE CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Icheon has been a major producer of quality rice since the Joseon Dynasty. At that time, rice from Icheon was presented to the royal family. Icheon rice is still quite popular for its glossy and firm texture and nutty and sweet flavor. In mid October, which is the busiest harvesting season, the region holds the Icheon Rice Cultural Festival. Various foods made with Icheon rice are the true highlight. Enjoy the nutty smell of cooking rice, the intriguing sound of pounding steamed rice into cake, and the rich flavor of well-fermented makgeolli (cloudy rice wine). A rice cooking contest, the making of a rainbow-colored garaetteok (cylinder-shaped rice cake), and the world rice cuisine contest will be memorable events. Also, making injeolmi (bean-powder-coated rice cake) and pounding rice cake with a mallet are also fun activities that anyone can enjoy without much difficulty.
Areas near 398, Gwango-dong, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
JEONJU BIBIMBAP FESTIVAL
Bibimbap has been a beloved food for Koreans and foreigners alike, but what makes the dish even more unique is that it embodies the philosophy of Korean cuisine, which is “harmony amid diversity.” A bowl of rice is beautifully garnished with a variety of colorful vegetables and meat, which is then mixed altogether and enjoyed. The Korea Traditional Culture Center in Jeonju, which is famed for its Jeonju-style bibimbap, holds a bibimbap festival in mid October every year. During the festival, young and passionate chefs present unique bibimbap dishes at the Chef’s Invitation show, and visitors are delightedly invited to 4 performances under the theme of the origin of bibimbap. Also, there is a DIY bibimbap program where participants can make their own bibimbap, and a bibimbap contest awaits you.
95 Seohak-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
SUNCHANG GOCHUJANG FESTIVAL
Traditional Korean condiments – doenjang (soybean paste), ganjang (soy sauce), and gochujang (red chili paste) – play an essential part of Korean food. Made with fermented soybeans, these condiments add a unique savory and rich flavor to entire Korean dishes, ranging from soup, stew, and stir-fried dishes to seasoned vegetables. Sunchang built its reputation as a producer of quality red chili paste. The folk village in Sunchang holds an annual festival titled the Sunchang Gochujang Festival in early October. A variety of programs are available, such as making traditional Korean condiments and tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake), watching traditional folk performances, a cooking contest, and an EDM light show, just to name a few. All these will spice up your travels in Korea, just like the intense and robust flavor of red chili paste.
6-3, Minsongmaeul-gil, Sunchang-gun, Jeollabuk-do
GANGGYEONG SALTED SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Jeotgal, or salted seafood, is made by fermenting seafood like anchovies, prawn, and large-eyed herring, and it is the secret behind the unique rich flavor of Korean cuisine. Many Koreans say kimchi without salted seafood is not true kimchi. During the kimchi-making season in winter, go to Ganggyeong-eup, the hometown of salted seafood in the country. It is where the Ganggyeong Salted Seafood Festival is held in mid October each year. Visitors are encouraged to join several activity programs such as making jumeokbap (rice balls), gimbap, and kimchi with salted seafood, as well as making spicy salted seafood. You will surely be captivated by the true charm of salted food. You can also get a glimpse of the style and beauty of Korean culture through kite-flying, wish-lantern making as well as traditional Korean crafts.
45, Geumbaek-ro, Nonsan-si, Chungcheongnam-do