The Yeongam Wangin Culture Festival, an annual culture festival held in April every year hosted by the Yeongam County, was designated as the most promising culture and tourism festival by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for the third consecutive year in 2017.
To celebrate the birth and outstanding achievements of Wangin, a great scholar in the Baekje Dynasty, the Yeongam County has been hosting the Festival in April since 1992. Born in the Yeongam County, Wangin went to Japan to teach scholastic knowledge and culture to the leaders of Japan including the Crown Prince at the time.
Major programs of the Festival consist of an exhibition of artifacts and rituals related to Wangin, and performance of traditional folk arts, including spring rites, performance of folk music and dances, folk games, parades, shamanistic ritual, and fashion show of the Baekje costumes.
The designation as the most promising culture and tourism festival for the third consecutive year is more significant as it was selected when screening processes got more rigorous in fiercer competition since 2015.
Notably, the Festival demonstrated potential of evolving into a global event as it has been taken part by ambassadors and senior diplomats of 10 foreign embassies in Korea, including Russia and Poland, as well as delegations from Hirakata and Kanzaki, Japan.
In addition, the Festival largely expanded programs that can easily be participated and enjoyed by tourists and regional residents. For example, the musical entitled ‘Scholar Wangin Leaves for Japan’ enhanced enjoyment and understanding of tourists by reproducing activities of Wangin who helped Japan create and flourish the Aska Culture. The musical enticed over 1,000 local residents and foreign tourists to join the subsequent street parade. Moreover, colorful folk games and programs attracted deep interest from foreign tourists, evaluating the event as a premium and safe festival.
“We are committed to upgrading the Wangin Culture Festival to an international festival where more visitors and regional residents can enjoy and experience our traditional culture,” said an official at the Yeongam County government. Yeongam is a county located in the southwestern region of Korea producing a large variety of agricultural products.
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