Tuesday, May 22, 2012

한우 산나물 축제 Mountain Vegetable and Hanoo Festival in Yongmun

On May 13th, we headed over to Yongmun, about an hour and a half east of Seoul to check out the Mountain Vegetable and Hanoo (Korean Beef) Festival. The festival grounds were split between the area near the subway station and Yongmunsa, a famous temple which I have also blogged about here and here. Buses were running every 10 minutes or so to accommodate all the heavy traffic up to the temple, but despite that, the buses were still packed.

Near the subway station there were lots of vegetables and food for sale. Above you can see a woman selling dodok, a kind of tasty root eaten in many ways from marinated and grilled to being used to make makkoli. Below, a woman is frying 은행, or ginko seeds. Everything looked so tasty, but we had just eaten lunch before arriving, so we moved on to the Yongmunsa temple area to continue exploring.

Up near Yongmunsa tents selling every green leafy thing imaginable, lined the street. We didn't really need to buy vegetables, so we continued on to find more exciting things.

One corner had a bunch of props used in historical dramas, like this drum above which they even let us hit, and these flags that apparently we weren't supposed to touch, even though there was no sign...

Further exploration of the festival grounds revealed more exciting things like a traditional tea ceremony, cows which may or may not some day make it to the barbeque (this is the a Hanoo festival after all), and more food tents featuring Hanoo galbi, Korean pancakes made with various mountain vegetables and an international food stand which we kept passing and drooling, but we kept reminding ourselves that this was a Korean mountain vegetable festival, not an international food festival....

But perhaps the most exciting part of the day was when they announced that there would be a Kung Fu demonstration on the stage. Some boys from a local Kung Fu school put on a pretty impressive show (considering they were middle and high school age boys).

And last but not least, I couldn't leave this cute donkey out of my blog post. Who can't resist a cute donkey??

Before leaving we finally settled on a plate of grilled dodok root and a pot of makkoli before making our way back home by bus and then subway. All in all it was a fun day and we had perfect weather. Be sure to make your way to Yongmun next year for this festival!

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