Started in 1999, the Damyang Bamboo Festival (담양대나무축제) has been organized around the date of May 3rd to celebrate bamboo as a community. This originated from the Goryeo period in Korean history (고려; 918–1392) wherein the 13th day of May on the Lunar calendar was recognized as the Juk-chui/Juk-sul Day or Bamboo Day.
The festival features many activities for people to enjoy, such as bamboo rafting, face painting, bamboo basket making, bamboo archery, water biking, bamboo tea tasting, bamboo basket making, and bamboo ceramics making. While some of these can be found at other festivals throughout Korea, the bamboo based activities were unique to the bamboo festival.
If making things from bamboo is not your cup of tea, ready-made bamboo products can be bought at the Bamboo Products Market (대나무죽물시장) and Bamboo Fair Center (대나무박람회장).
One of the highlights of the festival was the traditional Korean dance performance, Gwang Gwang Sulrae (광광술래), held at Juknokwon. The women performing looked like they were having such a great time!
Many people enjoyed bamboo rafting and biking along the Gwanbang Stream (관방천).
While others, like Steve and I, enjoyed walking along the beautiful Gwanbangjerim Path (관방제림 산책로), through the Sculpture Park (담양조각공원), to the Metasequoia Street (매타세쿼이아 가로수길).
It was such a nice relaxing place that I envied this family for having a picnic under one of the magnificent trees.
We tried the popular Glutinous Rice Donuts (찹쌀도넛) and downed it with Korea Traditional Bamboo Leaf Wine (대잎술) outside a convenience store.
Here are some highlights of our trip:
If you’d like to learn more about the bamboo festival and when exactly the next one will be held, go to the festival’s official website. For information on how to get there, click here or call the tourism hotline (02-1330).
What bamboo products do you use or would you buy?