I started adding some photos to Flickr for the Hampyeong Chrysanthemum Festival (함평 국화 대축제) that I attended with Layna at the start of last month. Don't ask why it always seems to take me so long to sort through everything -- I don't have the slightest idea. As you can probably imagine from the name, the centerpiece to the festival were the thousands upon thousands of chrysanthemums. There were chrysanthemums in a few different colors as well as other flowers on display.
If you were reading my blog back in the spring you might recognize Hampyeong from my trip there last May. (Write-up here and pictures over here.) It's interesting to see a town located in rural Jeollanam-do promote itself to such an extant that it can draw in large crowds for not one but two festivals. As an illustration of that fact, due to the travel time between 의정부 and 함평 I spent 12 hours of that weekend with my backside planted in the seat of a subway, taxi, or bus. I knew what to expect from my previous trip, but even with that I was still looking forward to the Chrysanthemum Festival.
Once you walk through the trails at the front of the festival grounds - located within the Hampyeong Ecological Gardens - there's an area where people were allowed to pick the flowers to make chrysanthemum tea (국화차). Layna and I gathered quite a few with the assistance of a very helpful boy from Gwangju, who kept handing me flowers that he should have been giving to his mother. There was also an area further on with food tents, a waterfall, moon bear statues, a rose garden, and these stuffed toys that I wanted to buy. They're not anything I can see myself showing off to company so I passed on the opportunity to take them home, but you know that if I had a girlfriend she'd probably be getting one as a gift. Nothing says "I love you" like fuzzy arthropod larvae, right?
For anyone still reading at this point, the rest of my photos are in this set on Flickr.