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Gangjin invites you to explore beautiful Goryeo celadon

Turning a potter’s wheel to shape porcelain is not something we can only see in a movie or on TV.

In Gangjin-gun (Gangjin County), Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province), you can do it yourself and have fun, too, where the mystic beauty of centuries-old Goryeo celadon can be admired at the 38th Gangjin Celadon Porcelain Festival, from Aug. 7 to 15.

During the nine-day festival, more than 100 events in five categories -- exhibition, performance, experience, project and sideline events -- will be held under the theme of "Earth, Fire and Human" around Goryeo Celadon Porcelain kilns in Gangjin County, where tourists can learn the art of making of modern-day pottery and view special exhibitions of high quality celadon works. (Left: five-meter tall pieces of celadon porcelain, photo courtesy of Gangjin Celadon Porcelain Festival)

To celebrate the opening of the event, about 100 ships will pass in a flotilla through Gangjin Bay on Aug. 7 at 5 p.m., creating a spectacular scene visible from the beach. The event venue will be decorated with celadon-shaped LED lights and five-meter tall pieces of celadon porcelain. A parade such as might be seen during the Goryeo Dynasty (A.D. 918-1392) will be held every day, with marchers wearing traditional Goryeo costumes.

Mudflat walks and ferry rides on Gangjin Bay using a traditional Goryeo cargo boat will also amuse tourists, while exhibitions of works by European and Korean potters will help people appreciate the beauty and have wider knowledge of different kinds of porcelain in the world. (Right: Ferry rides on Gangjin Bay , Yonhap News)

Visitors will have a chance to make their own piece of celadon pottery on a potter’s wheel, and also printing, coiling and sculpturing clay. This is just one of over 30 different and unique hands-on experience activities available during the festival, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Targeting summer vacation goers and their families, the festival aims to entertain visitors of all ages and backgrounds with its programs, such as a celadon photo contest, a singing contest for international students, a youth festival, celadon museum and a clay molding contest for children (Left: Overseas tourists making celadon pottery, photo courtesy of Gangjin Celadon Porcelain Festival)

Another attraction is shopping. Those who would love to purchase a piece for their collection can obtain high quality celadon at a 20-percent discounted price during the event period.

Also, festival organizers will provide coupons to visitors instead of selling admission tickets. These coupons can be used freely anywhere in Gangjin County, boosting the local economy. (Right: Celadon vase with inlaid crane and cloud designs (National treasure No. 68), Yonhap News)

Gangjin, also known as "Tamjin" in the past, is known as the home of Goryeo celadon, one of Korea’s most glorious cultural assets. For about 600 years from the 9th century, this was the manufacturing site of 90 percent of Goryeo earthenware, some of which has since been designated as national treasures. Over 200 out of Korea’s 400 historical traditional kilns are located around this area. Goryeo celadon is famous for its mystical gray-blue color and unique shape.

Last year, the Gangjin Celadon Porcelain Festival was selected as one of Korea’s best festivals by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for the ninth year in a row.

For more information about the festival, click here (Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese) to visit the festival homepage. More travel information is available by calling Korea Travel Phone: Call+82-64-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese available around the clock).

By Yoon Sojung Staff Writer


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