The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Tourists play in a mud pool during the 22th Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon beach in Boryeong on July 20, 2019. (AFP/Minji Suh)
The Boryeong Mud Festival will be held online this year starting from Friday, due to the continued spread of COVID-19.
The annual celebration of mud along its sandy beach in South Chungcheong Province has become the most popular festival in Korea with foreign participants, with 380,000 of the 1.81 million participants last year being foreigners. Mud wrestling and the mud slide are highlights of the annual festival that also aims to promote the beneficial properties of Boryeong mud.
For this year, festival participants are being asked to use their imagination as the festival goes online.
With “Your Imagination” as this year’s theme, Boryeong has planned numerous online events during the festival period that runs through July 26, bringing the festival to homes.
A concert featuring trot singer Hong Jin-young and Han Ga-bin, among others, will be livestreamed through the festival website -- mudfestival.or.kr -- during the festival. Also, a special filter that makes people appear to be covered in mud has been created by Snow, a photo filter app, in collaboration with festival organizers for people to use and upload to social media for a chance to win prizes. Participants who have been to the festival in previous years can also win prizes by uploading photos from previous festivals through an event called Remember Mud Festival.
Festival organizers have also prepared two mud-experience packages to use at home. One package contains a mini air-inflated pool, mud powder, mud clay pack, mud soap and three different colored mud samples, while the other package does not include the pool. Over 1,700 packages have sold out since their release on June 30, reflecting anticipation for the at-home version of the popular event.
In addition, Afreeca TV streamer Daeryuknam has been invited to be an avatar for people at home and show himself visiting and experiencing tourist attractions in Boryeong, along with the mud. Boryeong also started a mud bucket challenge, in which people post videos of themselves pouring a bucket of mud over their heads, as an act to wish for the festival’s success.
The festival will be held from Friday to July 26.