It’s the month of June, and the call of the sea begins to beckon urban dwellers longing for a change of scenery. Why not leave behind the drab grey of concrete jungles for a refreshing blue of the wide-open ocean at 2010 Haeundae Sand Festival? Held from June 4 to 7 at Haeundae beach in Busan, this celebration of sand, sun and surf is simply not to be missed.
A new look for a familiar beach
Haeundae beach is renowned as one of the top destinations for Korean vacationers congregating to catch some rays and cool off in the ocean waves during the summer. But this familiar beach is set to be transformed during the 2010 Haeundae Sand Festival into a riot of family-friendly fun.
First held in 2005, in just five short years the Haeundae Sand Festival has been catapulted into one of Korea’s most buzzworthy summer festivals thanks to a collection of exciting activities.
Though there are a total of forty-one activities offered all throughout the festival, the main festivities converge on Saturday, June 5 - a day entirely devoted to boisterous entertainment. As the day kicks off with an amateur song contest and winds through a parade held on the sand, a traditional Korean costume fashion show, celebratory performances and a fireworks display, the euphoria of sun and fun is sure to hit a peak.
Move, move for joy
It’s impossible to think of a sandy beach without summer sports. Visitors wanting to throw off the confining shackles of mundane routine and get down and dirty can find plenty of sports tournaments and active entertainment to revel in.
Each day of the festival offers different physical activities. For example, on Friday, June 4, events like one-legged fights and a flipper-clad relay race promises wholesome fun the entire community can enjoy. Saturday is devoted to beach volleyball for the serious sports enthusiasts; Sunday offers diversified activities for various age groups, such as youth beach soccer, ssireum (Korean wrestling) and beach walking tours for the older generation. Monday wraps up the festivities with a bonanza of events for kids, including “Straw Ball World Cup,” “Sand Hurdles” and a sandcastle building competition.
Create art out of a handful of sand
Sand sculpting, the iconic entertainment of Haeundae Sand Festival, offers the vacation-bound a chance to enjoy the craft of world-renowned sand sculptors. This is not your children’s sandcastle - last year’s entries included works running the gamut of subject matter from the whimsical to the ideological, such as a light welcome sign featuring animation characters, a sand sculpture depicting the famous Aesop fable of the tortoise and the hare, and even a monumental protest to nuclear weapon proliferation.
This year, the festival welcomes world’s top sand artists such as Jeron Advocaat from the Netherlands, Mark Anderson of Britain plus native artists Kim Gil-man, Jung Byung-il and Choi Ji-hoon to take part in the International Sand Artists Invitational. Visitors can view fantastic sand sculptures wrought by these masters’ hands and perhaps become inspired to build their own masterpieces.
A veritable wealth of activities remains in place to invite such audience participation. Among them are “Sand Sculpture Challenge,” “Creating Sand Drawings,” “Hourglass Making,” and many more.
With its simple motto of “See, Feel and Enjoy,” the 2010 Haeundae Sand Festival is a ticket to uncomplicated fun and euphoric memories for everyone.