Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jinju Namgang Yudeung Lantern Festival

Lanterns on the Nam River (literally South River) in front of Jinju Fortress. 
This past weekend also boasted Jinju's Namgan Lantern Festival - busy weekend, I know! Fortunately, Jinju  (진주) lies only 2 hours southeast of Gwangju, making it possible to visit two festivals in one weekend. The Namdan Yudeung Festival is held every year in October to commemorate the use of lit lanterns as a military strategy to protect Jinjuseong (진주성-Jinju Fortress) from night attackers coming across the river during the Japanese invasion of 1592.

A balloon advertising the festival floats about a colourful fountain on the south side of the Namdong.

A lovely dragon lantern. Many of my lantern photos were taken during the day for lighting purposes but, I assure you, they were equally, if not more lovely, at night.

A lady bug! and entire bamboo forest had been set up with lanterns - many of them in pairs located in... shall we say, compromising positions.

The entryway to one of the three temporary floating bridges crossing for crossing the Namgang during the festival.

A vie of the river and one of the bridges from the east.
Jinjuseong is not just a fortress, It is a fortress with a  history.  During the Japanese invasions, Korean General  Kim Si-min was said to have held the fortress against 30,000 invaders with only 3880 troops of his own. Sadly, when the Japanese returned, they brought 100,000 soldiers, killing many of the 70,000 Koreans who were by then stationed there. The story does not end there, however, and the fortress is now home to a shrine dedicated to one Nongae. Nongae was one of the girls selected to 'entertain' the conquering Japanese generals. Rather than submit willingly, Nongae lured Japanese General Keyamura up to a supposedly lovely vantange point on the cliff and jumped, bringing him along with her.

Poor guy just looked like he needed a break!

An outdoor torture chamber.

Fall too adorable. We all ended up piling in at one point too.

Period Re-enactments.


The remains of the Dragon Bridge, once the scene of an ill-fated romance between a governors daughter and his servant. 

Lantern soldiers guard a look-out pavilion.

Jinju's famed musical fountain.

Thousands of golden Buddha at one of the temple shrines in the fortress complex.

Lanterns at night! Reminding me of just how much a love pumpkins.

Everything in Korea is a photo-opp :).
Holding the fort.

A final view.

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