If you’re interested in Korea’s ancient past, there’s an unmissable festival on this month. The Goryeong Daegaya Experience Festival brings to life the ancient kingdom of Daegaya (42-562). This place dates back to the time when the whole country of Korea was part of the Three Kingdoms, Baekje (백제), Silla (신라) and Goguryeo (고구려). Goguryeo became Goryeong over time, and eventually the name we know today, Korea.
The Daegya kingdom is found in modern day Gyeongsangnam-do province, in the south of the country near Busan. The kingdom is thought to have been very powerful and sophisticated, and is credited for creating the gayageum, a twelve-stringed traditional harp. You can see this, plus other relics from the period during the festival. Admission is free to the festival, but there are some interactive paid-for programs like wooden boat-making and harvesting strawberries from the nearby village.
The Goryeong Daegaya Experience Festival runs from April 12th to 15th. The festival’s official website is in Korean only, but the Korean Tourist Organisation’s page has some useful info on how to access the event from Seoul. Here’s a taster of some of the period-themed entertainment at the event.