Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival
This week I’m taking you to the Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival.Welcome to week 273 (4/14/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. Once again, apologies for not getting around to everyone’s links last week. I am literally in marking hell right now. Hopefully, things will ease up by the beginning of next week, and then we have midterms 🙂
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Every time my neck snapped, as the bus headed towards Jindo, I reminded myself that I had wanted to go to the sea parting festival for years. Korean bus seats are not made for tall western bodies, and I had forgotten what hell a five-hour bus ride could inflict on my body. Arriving before daybreak, we were on time for the torch parade, shopping for our orange hip waders, claiming our oil filled torches and the before daybreak fireworks. I have to admit that carrying around an oil-fueled torch in a crowd made me a little nervous. Thankfully, no mishaps and the torch parade certainly added to the ambiance and the festivities. Try taking photos when you’re carrying an oil filled torch; very tricky!
Don’t you love the orange waders?!
Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival
This is the first time I had ever experienced fireworks just before daybreak, and it was a great show. I love this first shot with the torch flames and the fireworks together.
Korean traditional dancers also entertained, while we waited for daybreak and the sea to part.
This is Grandma Poong. She and her fierce sidekick overlook the spot where the sea parting occurs. Jindo Island is the largest island in an archipelago of 250 islands, and local legend maintains that a very long time ago many tigers lived on the island. When the tigers started to frequent the village, the villagers fled to nearby Modo Island. An old lady, named Poong, was accidentally left behind. She prayed and prayed to the Dragon of the Sea to be reunited with her family. She dreamed of the Dragon King one night, and in her dream, he told her to cross the sea to Modo Island on the rainbow that he would provide for her. When she woke up the next morning, she ran down to the sea, and saw it part, and began her journey across the rainbow bridge. Sadly, Grandma dies of exhaustion in the arms of her loving family.
Jindo Sea Parting
The “parting” occurred just after daybreak, and the 2.9KM journey from Jindo Island to Modo Island began. Those making the trek have about 60 minutes to get there and back. People do get stranded on the island, and are “rescued” by a local boat. It was so hazy that we couldn’t even see Modo.
The people on the rocks are gathering seaweed and shellfish.
This is at sea level, and I am beginning to cross. While it was shallow, the further out I went the deeper it got. I was a little worried about my camera. The officials started blowing the horns to return when I was a little less than halfway. My feet were freezing, and the waders weren’t exactly made for long treks. I was satisfied that I had made it almost halfway, and was happy to return to the other side of the rainbow bridge!
We were also treated to beautiful spring blossoms and wildflowers.
Other entertainment at the Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival included a very entertaining jindo dog show; the official dog of Korea. There was also more traditional dance.
There was also a sea parting around 6 pm, but my camera batteries had both died by then, so no photos. It did look a lot shallower in the evening, and there also seemed to be a lot more safety precautions in place. Nightfall brought out the partiers, and I must admit I flaked. After almost no sleep the night before, my body was crying for a place to lay down and some shuteye.
The trip back to Seoul was rough, but I’m not disappointed that I went. It was a unique experience. If you want to know the scientific phenomena behind the Jindo “sea parting,” here it is.
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