After a 3-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the Korea Festival returned to Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday the 13th of May, 2023. Check out the official Facebook Page for more information for 2024 and beyond.
Affectionately known as Fed Square, this central CBD meeting point across the road from Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station is a hub for cultural activities, including the popular annual Korea Festival. Aside from Melbourne’s lockdown years, the Korea Festival has been held in Federation Square, in association with the Korean Consulate, every year since 2014.
Some of the attractions of the May 2023 Korea Festival in Melbourne included:
Korean Cultural Activities and Entertainment
A traditional Korean combat sport, the practice of Taekwondo takes a great deal of skill and discipline. The annual Korea Festival almost always features rousing live demonstrations of the sport by skilful Taekwondo martial artists, and 2023 was no different.
Traditional Music Performances
Live Korean folk music – known as Pungmul – is also performed at Fed Square’s Korea Festival. Featuring slow, complex percussive beats accompanied by solemn vocal melodies, Pungmul is known to be both sombre and meditative.
K-Pop Singing and Dancing Competitions
Significantly more upbeat, modern-day K-pop music can also be experienced at the Fed Square Korea Festival. Known for its boppy, lively take on popular music, it is usually accompanied by vigorous dance choreography. In 2023, festival attendees could even take part in K-Pop singing and dancing competitions.
Korean Cuisine and Delicacies
Food is a massive part of Korean culture! Street food sold by market stall vendors is especially popular in Korea. Visitors to the 2023 Federation Square Korea Festival got to have a taste of some of these tantalizing traditional bites right here in Melbourne.
Popular choices such as Eomukguk (fishcake soup), Kimbap (bite-size dried seaweed rolls) and Boribap (rice, barley and vegetables) could all be savoured at Melbourne’s Fed Square Korea Festival in 2023.
Korean Squid-Game-Themed Activities
Following the release of the popular yet disturbing Korean television series Squid Games, Melbourne’s 2023 Korea Festival held its own version of the games – albeit less morbid!
These activities included running races, tests of strength, and competitions such as tug of war – and the best part? No one had to die at the end!