Korea is known for its four distinct seasons, each remarkable for their own beauty. South Korea is far and away a fascinating country to visit all year around, but there’s no time of the year prettier than its iconic spring. As the freezing cold winter pacifies, the weather starts to get warmer around mid March, creating ideal weather for outdoor activities. Also, increasing temperatures accompany mesmerizing changes throughout the country. The magical aspect of spring is behind the nostalgic atmosphere that the season brings; it’s a time of warmth and hopes of new beginnings. Indeed,life is blooming in every corner of the country.
You can not talk about South Korea’s spring without mentioning cherry blossoms. Perhaps, it is without fail that spring as a season is defined by the cherry blossom trees that flood the country with their alluring beauty. Serving as a symbol of spring, Korean cherry blossoms explode the country into a sea of delicate pink flowers around early April. Korea plumes itself upon these flourishing flowers blooming and permeating the country in sweetness.
Thousands of indigenous people and even those from abroad embark on road trips around the country to take pictures in front of the most photogenic trees during the cherry blossom season. The beautiful blooms on Cherry Blossom trees make Korea famous all over the world, so it’s no wonder that festivals celebrating their blooming season are one of the most popular festivals held in South Korea.
The famous festivals include Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival and Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival. If you happen to be visiting South Korea during spring, you might want to add one of these spring festivals as one of your stops. The drive-thru paths of these festivals boast beautiful scenery with endless rows of white and pink cherry blossom trees planted along the roads. Most festivals host various performances and events including concerts, traditional drum performances, a paragliding contest, and face painting for visitors to enjoy.
Aside from prevailing cherry blossoms, there are also diverse kinds of flowers that bloom in spring, filling up Korea’s landscape. According to Yeji Lee’s 10 Magazine article about Korea’s spring flowers, the Plum Blossom will likely be the first flower you’ll see as an indication of spring’s arrival in Korea. Then the hues of yellow golden bell trees and rapeseed flowers, white magnolia, and pink azaleas paint every corner of the city along with the cherry blossoms. Spring is surely the perfect time to cherish and celebrate these gifts of nature in South Korea.
To add to the growing feeling of spring, every year hundreds of Kpop songs are released to accompany the South Korean spring experience. Just think about how many kpop songs have the word spring in it: “Spring Day” by BTS, “What the Spring?” by 10cm, “Spring Spring Spring” by Roy Kim, and “Spring Is Gone By Chance” by Yuju and Loco. That shows how much Koreans adore spring.
According to Soompi, a famous kpop website, no spring playlist would be complete without this legendary song “Cherry Blossom Ending” by Busker Busker. This was the No. 1 song in Korea in 2012, and since then, whenever March and April roll around, it’s played everywhere! Make sure to listen to these never-failing spring playlist as you walk through the array of pretty cherry blossoms. It will definitely make your springtime more cheery.
If you are planning to visit Korea during spring, be sure to prepare masks due to high levels of microfine dust particles in the atmosphere. But, also make sure to check the flower blooming period, because it differs every year. Expect a lot of people everywhere you go and Happy Spring!
Goeun Lee, Grade 10
Larchmont Charter High School