Gwanghwaun Square is favored by Seoulites and tourists as there are many museums and attractions nearby. Around the square, there are many tea houses and fancy restaurants that attract foreign tourists. It is only some 900 meters (0.5 miles) away from the Gyeongbokgung palace, the main palace from the Joseon dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1897. Various performances such as a Taekwondo-based dance event are often held in the square.
Seoul said in a statement that the Seoul Lantern Festival, an annually celebrated festival, will be held in Gwanghwamun Square on December 19 for 13 days. The capital city will display different decorations created using light-emitting diodes and hanji, traditional Korean paper made from the inner bark of paper mulberry. The light sculptures will be installed near frequently visited areas including near the statue of King Sejong who invented the Korean alphabet.
In 2021, the lantern festival was held near Cheonggyecheon, a stream that flows through the heart of Seoul. The event garnered attention for its online content which adopted augmented reality (AR) technology to showcase computer-generated effects overlapped with actual images in the Cheonggyecheon area.
Along with the lantern festival, contemporary art exhibitions that recreated famous buildings in Gwanghwamun such as a multipurpose concert hall into three-dimensional digital art will be showcased from the outer walls. About 50 companies will be involved to sell food items and display Christmas decorations.
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