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Sunday 14 April 2024

Seoul Searching: Uncovering the mysteries of Korean culture

While many tourists are familiar with the history and culture of countries like Japan, China and Indonesia, South Korea remains something of a mystery. North Korea even more so.

For those who would like to delve a little more into Korean history - let's call it Seoul Searching -  the 2024 Spring K-Royal Culture Festival, in collaboration with the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, will be held in Seoul's historic royal palaces.

Their names are tongue-twisters: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, and Gyeonghuigung, but they and the Jongmyo Shrine will host events from from April 27 to May 5.

This will be the 10th edition of the festival, which drew over 675,000 visitors last year.

The opening ceremony, themed Love for the People will re-imagine King Sejong the Great's historic proclamation of the Hunminjeongeum script in 1446.

So not an event for everyone, but certainly of interest to history buffs.

Gyeongbokgung Palace will host immersive programs offering insights into the Joseon Dynasty's royal court.

From May 1-5, the Time Travel, King Sejong program will offer a glimpse into palace life during King Sejong the Great's reign, while the Royal Music Concert - Harmony of 100 Court Musicians' Song in Peaceful Times (snappy title that), promises a showcase of traditional Korean musical instruments on May 4-5. Sweet Seoul music. 

The Palace Musical - Sejong, 1446 will return from April 28-30, while Gyeongbokgung's Heungryemun Square will host the K-Heritage Market, offering traditional crafts and cultural products in a lively atmosphere for a more mainstream audience.

There will be several other activiies dotted around the Korean capital. Advance reservations for paid programs can be made via Ticketlink, with free events also requiring reservations.

For detailed information, visit the websites Cultural Heritage Administration Royal Palaces and Tombs Center (, Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation (, or K-Royal Culture Festival (

It would probably have been easier to have one website, but maybe that is a cultural things. Or maybe not.

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