Korea: Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 15 comments

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?!

 

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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.

 

Torches

 

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Korean traditional dancers also entertained, while we waited for daybreak and the sea to part.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

Torchparade

 

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The people on the rocks are gathering seaweed and shellfish.

 

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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!

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We were also treated to beautiful spring blossoms and wildflowers.

 

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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.

 

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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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Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk Ruth from Tanama Tales  Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations

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You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.

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15 Comments

  1. This looks like so much fun – I especially love the photos of the people crossing. It’s a shame that I won’t be able to do this festival when I am in Korea next year – we’ll be focusing on Seoul for that trip but maybe the next time!

  2. Hi Jill. The sea parting occurs twice a year, but there’s only one festival a year. The dates change, so you have to be here at the right time. It’s definitely a unique phenomenon!

  3. Is the sea parting an unusually low tide? What a fascinating experience and story. I also favor that photo of the torches and fireworks. Have “fun” with the marking. Does wine help?

    • Hi Michele. haha. No wine does it help! If I ever wrote the comments I would like to write, my students would be in tears. Wine brings out those comments 🙂 Yes, the tide is extremely low, and happens twice a year.

  4. I haven’t heard of this before Nancie and it would be worth the awful bus trip. I would have been a little pannicky when the water got deeper at not quite half way. I’ve not seen pre daylight fireworks either. Thanks for sharing – can anyone go on the walk?

    • Hi Jan. Yeah, I did feel a twinge of nerves when the water started getting a little deeper. The pictures I have seen make it look it’s almost a road. That’s not really the case. Although, in the evening, there was not as much water. Anyone can go on the walk. Lots of kid and families take part.

  5. I didn’t understand the need for the waders until I saw the crossing photos. Those photos of the people crossing look surreal. I wander how many people are able to make it to the other island and come back before it is too late. At least, official are there to the security of the people. It will be interesting to participate in something like this.

    • Hi Ruth. It was fun. Watching tides go out is always interesting, and then to see them come back in even more so (at least for me). The steps that people walk down during low tide are not visible once the tide comes back in. Security in the morning was not that tight. There seemed to be more for the walk in the evening. I spoke with a few people who made it out to the island and back. They really had to hustle. I also spoke to a couple people who got stranded on Modo. They were rescued, along with many others 🙂

  6. Loved this parting of the sea post and that sweet-little lady who’d walked the sea – that photo of her statue is beautiful. Glad you tried it even if you didn’t get all the way across.

    • hi Jackie. This was a festival that has been on my list for years. I’m glad I finally got to experience it and participate!

  7. Sometimes the worst bus trips are worth the effort! A Sea Parting Festival – how different! The torches and the fireworks were gorgeous and I really don’t know how you managed to photograph all this! Good job.

    • Hi Kathy! You are so right. Back in 1980 I took a bus from Adelaide Australia to Alice Springs. Obviously, I was much much younger. It was a brutal bus ride, but so worth it. 🙂

  8. What an interesting and fun event. This looks like a neat event to watch. This certainly takes parting of the sea to a whole new level. I like that they really go all out for this festival.

  9. I love weird and obscure traditions like the Jindo festival! It all sounds like great fun, except the cold feet and the bus trip. Good luck ploughing through all the marking; I feel your pain!

  10. Thanks for including the link to explain the science behind “The Moses Miracle” and I loved learning about this tradition! Poor Grandma Poong but lucky you for taking the opportunity to participate in this adventure despite the uncomfortable trip! Anita

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