What does St.Patricks day have to do with Seoul, Korea?

What twitter has done for me.
March 16, 2010
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March 21, 2010

What does St.Patricks day have to do with Seoul, Korea?


– 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Festival to focus on professional performers from Ireland and recognition of the Irish who died in UN armies during the Korean War –


St. Patricks Day Parade 2010

Date and Time: Saturday, March 20, 2010 (12:00~15:45)

Venue: Cheongye Plaza Directions: Gwanghwamun Station, Subway Line 5, Exit 5

How to Participate: Just show up at Cheongye Plaza and enjoy the festival with us

Events: Ireland/Korea Music/Culture Festival

• Irish Culture Exhibition (Cheongye Plaza – Mojeon-gyo Bridge)

• Donations for Irish Who Fell During the Korean War Memorial

• DJ Hong Chang-Woo (DJ Performance) • St. Patrick’s Day Grand Parade 14:00~14:50

• Bagpiper solo

• Parade with amateur and professional marching units as well as general public participation

• Fee & Andrea Band from Ireland with professional step dancers

• BARD (Irish traditional band) & 4 step dancers; folk dancing demonstration with crowd participation

• Deafening Street (Korean U2 cover band)

• Korean university rock bands


This is an official introduction of St.Patrick’s day parade in Seoul.

Now. I have to participate this event as a curious blogger and.. to have some fun. This is going to be my very first St.patrick’s day celebration. Many movies and shows I can see people celebrating this particular day. Always wondering what is green holidays about and now I have a chance to learn and experience on my own.

I’ve heard I have to bring/wear something green but my closet doesn’t have green cloth so I bring the greenest things I can get which are scarf, make-up and manicure. Green is really hard color to pull off. Well, just for me? Maybe. Anyhow I was all set for the event.

Cheongye chon and Gwanghwamun square are perfect place for this kind of event. Centre location and open to public and really good to concentrate to event at the same time. Along with this beautiful stream? Yes. I say perfect.

I went Chungye chon with friends I’ve met in Taipei and his friends. Perfect gang for the international event!

Even though it was unexpectedly raining many participants showed up. Cheongye chon was filled with Irish people, a huge bottle of Guinness and a huge clover balloon. Everyone bring something green many people were REALLY green.


We started this event with a free beer. As a one of this event, there’s free giving out a cup of Guinness. They gave a free beer with a stamp on your hand so you can’t take twice. After first sip of Guinness I felt god bless Ireland. Perfect way to start Irish festival.




On one booth we found a clover tattoo for face. 3 big and 6 small ones for 1000 won ($1 USD). We all did bring and wearing something green but not enough in this crowd. Doing this tattoos on our faces we became look more participant!



Opening ceremony is held by host of this event. History of Korea and Ireland is somehow connected by Korean War, I think this event is a very generous gesture for both of them. This is what president of Irish Association of Korea said. Surprisingly the president speaks Korean like real Korean.

Respect and communicate with history between two countries look so international and right mined in this world now.

The festival started the start of Cheongye chon and walks along the whole stream, and goes back to where they started. The head of this parade is a bagpipe player. Very first real bagpipe music and it felt amazingly comfortable. Followed by armature and professional marching bands, Korean traditional music players (Sa mul nol ye), general public participants and of course, St.Patrick with the snake. He kept saying “Bad snake! Bad snake!” with funny glasses and crapy home-made outfit. It was hilarious.



The whole parade held about 2 hours. During the parade, people follow and stop with the parade. Funny thing, we tried to get more Guinness or any beer in the convenience store but it ran out! I’ve never seen convenience store without beers or any alcohol. Memorable moment, certainly. So we had to go long way around getting some beer in another convenience store. We bough bunch of beers but every other our group was in a café near Cheongye chon because of the cold weather. But we already open a can of beer so we just barge into the café with a beer. Of course, the crew caught us and took the beer away, but what can we do? We were cold!


personal favorite picture of this day. shows much expectation.


After parade was over, dancing party wit Irish music was next. Irish dancing fascinates me. I see this in front of me but still can’t believe how man can move like that.

St.Patrick’s day in Seoul didn’t end here. Everyone was drinking Beer and Soju (Korean alcohol) and ready for the next step. Although this event in Cheongye chon is just for few hours, we do have many foreigners in Korea and along the spirit of We are the world, this St.Patrick’s day even in Seoul means so much to.. everybody. For Irish people who miss their hometown, for curious Koreans and for many foreigners live in Korea right now. Good for advertise our city and no doubt, great way to have fun.


Like the flyer said an Irish bar in Gangnam has this day’s event like dancing party, Irish music but we figure any Irish pub is going to be the same so we decided to go an Irish bar in Itaewon which is closer from Chunggyechon. Beforehand we went Peruvian restaurant which is amazingly good but let me get to this place later.


Wolfhound bar in Itaewon is an Irish, very popular bar. This place is usually packed with people but this day particularly full of green people. Of course. We have to have some green beer. It taste probably the same but more festive! But be careful, it might turn you into green. Literally.

Some Irish music and drunken celebrating people was fun to watch. We all sang together, drinking Green beer and I had Green Jell-O shots for the first time.

Today's Photogenic.

Well, this is the story of my very first St.Patrick’s day experience. This particular day does not mean to me much but I was so impressed by people hosting this event and people who enjoying it.

And this is going to be annual thing, if you are in Seoul around St.Patrick’s day, should check out the location.

Many places in Seoul last night were really festive by St.Patrick. Someday in a future I will experience more Irish way of St.Patrick’s day. When the day is coming, I will told them about my very first St.Patrick’s day in Cheongye chon, Seoul, my home town.


*Special thanks to Simo and all my friend to be my model of this event.



*If you want more information


Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Sunny says:

    Geart! I dinn’t know this fes in Korea is also so big event, and many Irish are in Korea. Anyway i think you could enjoyed this fes so much 🙂 Please take care that don’t catch a cold!

    • Juno says:

      Thanks Sunny! Yes we did have a great time. certainly.
      This was really cold day so I’m laying down on my bed writing 🙂

      Thanks Sunny! Take care


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  3. LeslieTravel says:

    Looks like every Westerner in Seoul came out for this event! We have a huge parade here in NYC for St Patrick’s day. Many Americans have some Irish heritage, although they say everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day 😉

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