To kick off the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year campaign, there was a Lantern Festival along the Cheonggyecheon stream last week:
A free concert marked the beginning of the five-day festival, and ahjummas, ahjusshis, and squealing young fans all braved the cold weather to watch FT Triple and SS501 and other groups perform.
Since Lydia and I weren't part of the lucky few who got to sit inside the barrier, we stood along the side hoping we would be able to catch a glimpse of Joon's (from the group MBLAQ) chocolate 복근 (what we would call a 6-pack - here they call it chocolate, like the ridges of a chocolate bar, which Odile tells me is how they also refer to it in French.) In front of us was a tall man wearing a hat and carrying a camera. Behind me was a disgruntled grandpa who kept poking the tall man and telling him to take off his hat and lower his camera because the people behind him couldn't see. Grumpy grandpa was really nice to me for some reason and offered me half a satsuma. I told him I didn't want it, since I am a distrustful American, and also, hello, swine flu?? But he shoved the unpeeled satsuma fruit into my hand and I couldn't just throw it away, so I ate it. And I'm still alive.
Right, back to the concert:
My favorite SS501 member is Kim HyunJoong (not to be confused with fellow member Kim HyungJoon) who was rather breathtaking in the K-drama "Boys Before Flowers." He was a horrible actor, but that's okay because really all he needed to do was stand around looking all brooding and silent while wearing really nice clothes. My dad called him "the yellow-haired guy" because he had a strange hairstyle on the show. Now it's more normal:
The next night we came back to look at all the lanterns on the stream:
There were also "wish lanterns" that people could write on:
It's hard to write when your hands are freezing:
More lantern photos here.