All views and information presented herein are my own and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.
Seoul loves to light its buildings, to dress them in different colors. The holiday season is another chance for the city to create wonderful displays that bring people together to celebrate the festive season.
Myeong-dong is a shopping area where one of Korea’s largest department stores, Shinsegae has its main branch. Their tree display was a changing tree where the lights and colors took on different themes, snowflakes, presents, stripes. Across the street, the fountain by the Bank of Korea looked like an elaborate wedding cake.
My favorite display was at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. The open space around the building, one of Seoul’s best examples of modern architecture by the late Iraqui-British architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, has a path of LED roses, 25.550 of them. The number is significant. In 2015, the light display began in honor of the 70th anniversary of Korean Independence Day or Gwangbokjeol. Gwangbokjeol means “the day the light returned”. Each LED rose corresponds to one day of independence., 365 multiplied by 70 years.
Wherever one walked last night, there were couples and families enjoying the holiday lights, the cold weather, the street food vendors and the holiday season.