Here's a neat article about a "Catholic village" in Jeollanam-do that becomes a Christmas village each December.
Leafless trees, buildings and even farming vehicles glitter in every color as bands play, people sing carols and "Santa Clauses" entertain visitors. Christmas thus came alive from Dec. 19 to 23 in Eseulchon (village of dew), a Catholic farming village in Noan, Naju, about 280 kilometers south of Seoul.
Far more than Eseulchon's 170 residents have made it a "Christmas village." One village official told UCA News about 1,500 visitors came to the first such festival in 2007, and this year's festival has drawn twice as many.
Park Eun-jeong, 23, who came visiting from nearby Gwangju with her boyfriend, told UCA News: "It's really beautiful! I feel Christmas has already come. It's good for a village to celebrate Christmas with such a festival."
As the festival began, village head Anthony Kim Jong-gwan told UCA News that almost all 68 village families are Catholic. He said local people "naturally" became Catholics when a French missioner built Noan Church here 100 years ago. This designated cultural asset marked its centenary last November.
Well, I just kind of arbitrarily cut out that excerpt, so give the whole article a read. Below are some more photos I stole off the internet, from papers giving their watermark machine some exercise, and here are some more from a blog entry.
Loads more photos of the church are available here, and here's some information about spending the weekend at the farming village. The Christmas Village light festival will be held from December 19th through December 23rd, so stop by if you have a chance. *cough* Sorry, I'll try harder next year.
Wow, Naju's been in the news a lot lately, with recent articles on its tourist attractions and its food. I used to pass through it all the time going from Gangjin to Gwangju and considered it among the most dull places in all the land. However, having spent a little more time there I admit that while it's really only a city in quotation marks it does have some stuff worth seeing. I've written about Naju before, and have some other things there to profile but those entries are post-dated for when I'm on vacation next month.