Skip to main content

Incredible fireworks at Seoul's 'biggest event of the year'

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 11:21 PM EDT, Thu October 3, 2013
Seoul's 11th annual fireworks festival will take place on Saturday, October 5, starting at 7 p.m. These images taken at last year's festival offer a preview of what visitors can expect. Seoul's 11th annual fireworks festival will take place on Saturday, October 5, starting at 7 p.m. These images taken at last year's festival offer a preview of what visitors can expect.
HIDE CAPTION
Seoul International Fireworks Festival 2013
Purple rain
Fire away
Ignite the light
And let it shine
Boom, boom, boom
Creative bursts
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than one million people expected to turn out for Seoul's annual fireworks festival
  • Visitors advised to use public transport, arrive hours early for good riverside viewing spot
  • Over 100,000 fireworks from designers around the world will be set off

(CNN) -- Expect debilitating traffic jams and crammed subways as hordes of joyous, beer-guzzling, gimbap eating, DSLR-toting visitors hit the streets of Seoul this Saturday for the city's most explosive festival of the year.

"It's Seoul's biggest event," says Hee-jae Kim, an operations representative for the annual Seoul International Fireworks Festival, now in its 11th year.

"To have more than one million people turn out to one spot, for that one event on one day ... there isn't anything like it in terms of scale."

Set in Yeouido, one of the city's business and media epicenters, the fireworks festival takes place in front of the 63 Building, event sponsor Hanwha Corporation's iconic skyscraper overlooking the Han River.

Fiery designs

In addition to showcases by Korean fireworks designers, teams from Canada, Japan and France will blast their own award-winning creations into the night.

Canada's Apogee Fireworks will showcase its "Skyfall" display while Japan's Tamaya Kitahara Fireworks team plans to shoot a Japanese garden into the sky. The French team, Ruggieri, will set their streaming lights show to opera music.

By the numbers

Hanwha is spending approximately ₩3.5 billion ($3.3 million) on the festival.

A total of 100,000 fireworks will be set off on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. More than 3,000 staff and police will be on safety and security standby.

"I made sure to come three hours early to get a good spot with my friends," said Miji Lee, 29, who attended last year.

"You should remember to bring a big mat, a blanket and a trash bag. And try not to drink too much or you'll have to wait the huge lines for the bathroom."

For this year's event, 600 staff have been recruited to clean up the inevitable island of trash that will be left behind.

More visitor tips

Due to expected traffic snarls, visitors should use public transport to get to the festival.

Although restaurants and viewing platforms on Yeouido skyscrapers will offer good views of the fireworks, organizers say visitors should sit outside to get the full effect of the music, smells, noise and special effects.

Seoul International Fireworks Festival 2013

Saturday October 5, 7-9 p.m

Yeouido Hangang Park (near by 63 Building), Yeouido-dong 8, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

Public transport: Yeouido Station on subway lines 5 and 9; airport bus 6030

Read: 12 Best new restaurants and bars in Seoul

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
updated 9:50 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
updated 5:49 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
updated 10:45 AM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
updated 2:32 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
updated 9:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
updated 8:13 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The cover of Norway's new passport design
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
updated 12:25 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Properties in the Italian village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio have been converted into a high end hotel spread through the village.
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
updated 5:47 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
updated 12:21 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT