Here's what it looked like last year:
It takes place at the Hampyeong Expo Park (한평엑스포공원), site of the annual Hampyeong Butterfly Festival and a few minutes from the bus terminal. It looks gorgeous. Browse some pictures from the official site, from a Naver news search, or among the ones I uploaded last year. Browsing the archives I see I made nearly a dozen posts about "chrystanthemum" and nobody corrected me. Here's one from the first snow last November:
And another one in the snow:
Some couple tees in front of the Obama cardboard cutout.
And some Moon Bears (1, 2), probably from the local ecological park:
And the four-meter flower penis and testicles.
This one is more artsy:
Also running from October 29th through November 22nd is the smaller Yeongam Wangin Chrysanthemum Festival (영암왕인국화축제).
Wangin, known as Wani in Japanese, is believed by some to have brought Confucianism from Korea to Japan. Well, here's what Wikipedia has to say about Wangin and Yeongam county:
Even though Korea has no historical records on Wani, "Doctor Wang In's Historical Sites" (Wang In is the Koreanized form of Wani, 왕인) are located in Gurim Village, Yeongam Country, South Jeolla Province, South Korea today. It is based on a new myth that can date back only to the early 20th century.
Earlier geography books including the Taekriji (1751) never link Wani to Yeongam. The first known record that associates Wani with Yeongam is the Joseon Hwanyeo Seungnam (朝鮮寰輿勝覧; 1922-37) by Yi Byeong-yeon (이병연, 李秉延). It claims that Wani was born in Yeongnam without providing any evidence. It is known that around the same time, a Japanese monk named Aoki Keishō claimed on the basis of "oral tradition" that Yeongam was Wani's homeland. In 1932 he made an appeal to erect a bronze statue of Wani in Yeongam.
A new myth about Wangin was publicized in South Korea in 1970s. In 1972 the social activist Kim Changsu reported a series of essays titled "Korean spirit embodied in Japan," which appealed to South Koreans who felt oppressed by the legacy of Japanese colonization. In this framework, Wani was regarded as Korean without doubt. Upon being informed by a reader from Yeongam, Kim issued a statement identifying Yeongam as the birthplace of Wani in the next year. In spite of the weakness of the evidence, Wani's "relic site" was designated as Cultural Asset No. 20 of South Jeolla Province in 1976.
The development of Wani's "historical sites" was led by the governments of South Jeolla Province and Yeongam Country. The construction was carried out from 1985 to 1987, "restoring" the "birthplace", schools where Wani allegedly studied, and others. Yeongam Country started to fully exploit the old-looking new theme park as a tourist attraction because the introduction of local autonomy of 1990 forced the local government to look for its own source of revenue. For example, Youngam County began to host the annual "Wangin Culture Festival" in 1997 that was previously organized by local people under the name of "Cherry blossom festival".
LOL. And here's what the Yeongam county page has to say. Anyway, buses run to the festival site, the "Historical Site of Dr. Wangin" (왕인박사유적지) from Mokpo and Yeongam.
There are 15 Chrysanthemum festivals scheduled this fall, including ones in Gochang (고창국화축제), Masan (마산가고파국화축제), Daejeon (대청호국화향나라전), and at COEX Mall (무역센터국화 Festival).