Thursday, November 11, 2010

World lanterns to lighten up Seoul for one more week

via Yonhap NA, Seoul, Korea 
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will extend its annual world lantern festival for one more week due to its popularity among foreign tourists and local residents, city officials said Friday.
The Seoul Lantern Festival 2010 opened a week ago, timed to coincide with this week's summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Seoul. About 27,000 traditional and creative lanterns from 24 countries, including the G-20 nations, are on display along the Cheonggyecheon Stream running through the heart of the city center. The event was originally planned to end this Sunday.
"We decided to extend the event till Sunday next week to provide more attractions to foreign tourists coming to visit the capital and local residents," said Ahn Seung-il, a senior city official in charge of planning tourism programs. "It has been drawing positive response from citizens and foreign tourists."
About 500,000 people visited the stream in the first week of opening, city officials said, expecting the number of visitors to surpass one million this weekend.
Traditional lanterns from 24 countries, including Japan, China, New Zealand and Thailand, are especially popular to tourists for their splendid sizes and colors, the officials said.
Also drawing attention is a special, 3-meter-high lantern tower made of 2,000 smaller lanterns "to wish for the successful hosting of the G-20 summit," they said.
The city authority will place more security guards around the venue of the festival to keep it safe from possible incidents during the extended period, they added.