Sorae Port in Incheon, a popular spot year-round due to its fresh seafood and generous merchants, drew a record 8.46 million visitors last year. To further promote its local assets, the Incheon Sorae Port Festival was held for three days from Friday to Sunday.
Crowds gathered from day one as hundreds of booths lined the street from the railway station to the fish market offering a range of hands-on experience. The most popular event was fishing. Participants jumped into a wide pool and used their bare hands to catch gizzard shads, while hunting for crabs using nets. Children had a slightly easier time as they were able to scoop the fish up using nets while sitting in a rubber boat.
Nearby, visitors were able to grill the fish and steam the crabs they caught before tucking into a healthy meal.
Various events added to the festivities. Yeonsingut, a ritual form of prayer for successful catches, was recreated at a site called Jangdopodae next to the Sorae railway bridge. Masters of Korean classical music performed songs related to the ritual as fishing boats passed by to bestow blessings on them.
At the site, visitors were also able to try on traditional costumes, such as those worn by kings and generals in ancient times.
A fireworks show capped the first day of the festival as lights exploded in the night sky over the port in the shape of colorful phoenixes. A ceremony to light up sculptures at the venue added to the beauty and ambience.
The festival also featured many cultural performances and gave visitors a chance to enjoy the beauty of the West Sea and the romance of this Korean port. For more information, visit the event's website at http://www.namdong.go.kr/soraefestival.