Fast forward ten years or so, and the event has turned into a debaucherous, booze-soaked spectacle for pretty much every party-happy person living in Korea: the festival now attracts over a million people every year. There was mud-wrestling/mud-painting/mud-fighting, which were all a ton of fun. Another side-show: hordes of soju-quaffing drunk foreign people, which occasionally gave the whole thing a bit of a SPRRIIIIINNNGGG BREEAAAKKKK/Girls Gone Wild kind-of feel at times. In my opinion, most tom-foolery was 96% hilarious, 4% revolting and definitely made for some hilarious people-watching:
I was terrified to take my camera into the scrim for fear of mucking it up
My favorite part of the festival, by far, however, was the beach. Daecheon Beach was a complete surprise: gorgeous, clean, and relatively uncrowded. I love the beach, and did my fair share of body-surfing/paddling around in the waves/lying out/getting sand in uncomfortable places/beer-drinkin' by the sea. Being at the beach always reminds me of growing up in Maryland, and my summers spent marinating by the ocean in Virgina Beach/Ocean City:
The weather was GORGEOUS on the second day
Someday, I swear I will live within walking distance of the ocean
Even though the weather sucked on the first day (rain on and off), it was gorgeous on Sunday, and there were spectacular fireworks on Saturday night--by far the best I've seen in Korea. I had a blast, hanging out with my friends and remembering all of the fun times I've had since I've been teaching here for nearly a year...