|The terraced fields of green tea bushes are
decorated with lights for the festival (image courtesy of Boseong County).
Green tea isn’t considered a traditional Christmas drink,
but the Boseong Green Tea Plantation is getting in the festive spirit this year.
For the ninth year, various locations around the county are being decorated with
lights for the Boseong Green Tea and Plantation and Light Festival.
Starting on December 9, the Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla
Province) plantation will be lined with colorful Christmas lights to give
visitors a look at the unique contours of the terraced hillside terrain. The
festival runs until January 29, 2012.
Since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, one of the light exhibits
shows a coiled dragon with a pearl in its mouth. Visitors can take in the sights
from the Dahyanggak Pavilion Observatory, or stroll through the green tea
fields, visiting themed exhibits such as the Love Galaxy Light Tunnel, the Green
Tea Themed Street, and the Love Photo Zone. Visitors will be warmed by other
activities such as fireworks and celebratory performances.
|The dragon holds a pearl in its mouth known as a
yeouiju, which grants its wielder omnipotence (image courtesy of Boseong
One of the most prominent
attractions of the festival is the 120-meter-tall Christmas tree, which was
registered in the Guinness World Records in 2000 at the first year of the
festival. Lit with 1.2 million LED lights, the tree is dedicated to next year’s
Yeosu International Expo, with a message at the base of the tree wishing for the
success of the exhibition.
|The tree stands 120 meters high and 130 meters wide (image
courtesy of Boseong County). |
has a reputation for producing the best green tea in Korea, and over 40% of
Korea’s green tea is produced here. Featured in the Korean drama Summer Scent,
the region is a popular tourist attraction with winding walkways leading
visitors through the 560 hectares of land. The terraces of the plantation were
first created by the Japanese in 1939, falling into disuse after the liberation
of Korea, but they were resurrected in 1957 with the opening of the Daehan Green
The popularity of green tea has been spreading in recent
years as research continues to prove its health benefits, including weight loss
and prevention of cancer and heart problems. Boseong’s plantations and tea
houses have responded to the increase in demand by offering a variety of food
and beauty products infused with green tea. As well as the popular green tea ice
cream and cake, visitors can sample green tea kimchi, rice cakes, shampoo, and
Carlos Hernandez, a food blogger, reviewed many of the
green tea items on his popular blog Carlos Eats, including the green tea kimchi.
“Surprisingly you cannot smell the kimchi because of the green tea,” he wrote in
his review. “Many of these green tea products are unknown to the outside world
even Koreans outside Jeollanam-do, but trying them was an experience that every
traveler to South Korea should experience.”
As well as the Light Festival, the area has many festivals
and activities year round, including the Green Tea Festival held this year in
May and the Green Tea Marathon.
To find out more about the Boseong Green Tea Plantation and
Light Festival, visit www.boseong.go.kr (Korean only).