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Here comes the sun, here is where to see it

Wide Busan: Year-end Events


Any regrets from 2017? Don't fret, next year will be your best year yet. 

The dawn of a new year is a great symbol for renewal and rebirth. Even after a particularly treacherous year, the beginning of a new one can often bring fresh optimism.

Many flock to several locations across the city, from Yongdusan Park to Haeundae Beach and several places inbetween, every year to bid former years farewell and usher in new ones. This issue of Dynamic Busan highlights several events that welcome 2018 right.


■ Citizens Bell Ringing Ceremony at Yongdusan Mt. Park



Tens of thousands gather at Yongdusan Park every Dec. 31 for this special event. Starting at 11 p.m., the evening includes a musical performance, bell ringing ceremony and new year's greetings.  

The highlight of the event is the countdown that begins 10 seconds before midnight. At mid-night, everyone makes wishes for health, happiness or whatever else they'd like to see become reality in the new year.

The citizen's bell ringing follows. The bell holds more significance because it was made with funds raised by the people of Busan. The bell is struck 33 times with the messages of hope, love and peace. Fireworks will follow, as well as messages from the  mayor of Busan and a citizen's representative. A boisterous musical performance is scheduled to close out the event.

The popular tree festival held around Nampo's Gwangbok-ro (street) coincides with the year-end event, so allow yourself some time earlier in the evening to enjoy that, as well.

-How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Walk about 10 minutes and find the escalator leading to Yongdusan Park on your right.


Multiple sunrise events

■ Sunrise event in Haeundae 

Haeundae Beach draws tens of thousands around 6 a.m. every Jan. 1 who want to bear witness to the grandeur of the year's first sun rising over the horizon. Special events at the city's most popular beach are expected to include cheer performances, new year's greetings, a celebratory air show and an absolutely chilling (literally) ocean swim.

Every year has its own animal sign in Korean tradition. For 2018, it will be the year of the dog, so a huge sculpture symbolizing dogs is also expected to be installed on the beach.

-How to get there: Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exits 3 or 5. Walk toward the beach 


■ Gwangalli Sunrise Event 

Gwangalli Beach will also be packed with new year revelers. Various performances, tteokguk (rice-cake soup) sharing for up to 5,000 people, balloon flying and wish writing are slated.

What makes this event particularly unique, however, is the opportunity to view the sunrise from Gwangan Bridge. The upper part of Busan's iconic bridge will be open to the public from 6 to 9 a.m. Traffic to this portion of the bridge will be restricted from 5 to 10 a.m.

-How to get there: Gwangan Station (Metro line 2), exit 3 or 5. Walk toward the beach for about 10 minutes 


■ Songdo 

Songdo Beach also hosts an event from 6 to 8 a.m. on Jan. 1. The morning includes a sunrise countdown and traditional performances, which include a folk song party, drumming and pung-mulnori (traditional Korean percussion performance).

For those who arrive early, a bonfire will be made and hot drinks and tteokguk will be dis-tributed. Balloon flying is also slated for around sunrise. 

-How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 17, 26 or 61 and get off at Songdo entrance bus stop.