Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's in Yongpyong

 Bright lights of snow groomers, followed by ski instructors carrying torches in the background

While most folks in Seoul were watching the bell in Jonggak ring, we rang in the new year in a slightly different way. Yongpyong Resort holds its own New Year's festivities. There were concerts going on all evening, but we decided to stay inside, away from the cold. Just before midnight, however, we bundled up and made our way down to the base of the Red slope to watch the midnight show. Midnight was announced with a quick round of fireworks followed by a very impressive (to me) performance of the ski teachers skiing down Red (a double black diamond slope) carrying torches and skiing in formation, first in the shape of '13' and then in varying patterns down the mountain. Ahead of the ski dance, were the snow groomers, as you can see in the photo above. Unfortunately, taking photos of people in the distance, moving quickly, in the dark, with torches, is not really the best lighting conditions... the photo above is the best I have... And to make matters worse, my camera battery died just then, as well. 

This is actually the first New Year's I've ever spent in Korea, so I never put much thought into how Koreans celebrate the solar new year. But, just like Seollal (Lunar New Year), they eat ddeokguk, too. It should really be breakfast, but we had it for lunch at 1,500m above sea level. 

How did you spend your New Year's Eve/Day?

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