May 15, 2020 13:33
May is traditionally a month of festivals in Korea, packed with major events featuring flowers and performances. But the situation has changed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Government advisories for social distancing have led to back-to-back cancellations of spring festivals.
A farmer who participated in a festival featuring his town's green barley in Gochang, North Jeolla Province said, "We've been holding the festival for 16 years and it's sad to cancel it this year, but visitors are still very welcome."
The beautiful scenery continues to tempt visitors even so, and one positive aspect of the cancellations is ample parking space.
Cherry-blossom festivals last month went into low-key observation mode, allowing visitors to watch from their cars while canola and other spring festivals have been canceled altogether.
Anseong's huge canola fields, which drew huge crowds of visitors each year, were ploughed under this year to keep people away.
Kim Eun-young (38) from Pyeongtaek south of Seoul who came to visit with her mother said, "I've been coming here every year, but I've never seen the place so quiet."
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