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Children’s Day, Turtle Ships

Before it gets to be too far past the fact, I’d better do a post on Children’s Day, which was on Thursday, May 5th. There’s really no equivalent holiday in the U.S., particularly since it’s an official national holiday, an off day for government workers (and English teachers :smile: ). That should tell you something about how most Koreans feel about their kids. That week was also the Turtle Ship Festival, which is held in conjunction with the holiday. The festival celebrates legendary Korean naval commander Admiral Yi Sun-shin, inventor of the turtle ship. I posted last year about Children’s Day and the Turtle Ship Festival.

It was a gorgeous day–warm, with brilliant sunshine and blue skies (no yellow dust blanketing the area). The festival area is located at the Jongpo Ocean Park Walkway, from where I’ve taken a number of photos, such as this one.

Last year’s festival was a bit on the small side, but this year’s was much, much larger, due to the upcoming 2012 Expo (May-Aug 2012), so one of my former advanced level English students informed me.

Naturally, there were kids with their parents everywhere you turned, playing games, having fun, enjoying the beautiful weather.

There were dozens of tents set up for food, cultural exhibits and local organizations, with a few surprises along the way.

Here’s a fellow demonstrating kitchen knives.

This guy was doing something with these hamsters (gerbils?); I’m not sure what, but they were rather indifferent to his efforts. They lay there, not moving, either tired or drugged. If the latter, the guy should be taken to the woodshed for mistreatment of animals.

Wanna buy a sword?

Small turtle ship replicas.

Korean junk food, with french fried sweet potatoes in the lower right corner.

This food vendor was pretty good at tossing and stretching his noodle dough.

You could also buy paintings depicting the defeat of the Japanese naval forces when they tried to invade Korea way back in the late 16th century.

And continuing to walk along, I ran into surprise #1–MontanaRon is shocked to see a Montana Native American!

Ok, not really. It was a Korean dressed in Native American garb, selling flutes. Pretty cool, though.

Just a few tents down from him, I stumbled onto surprise #2–schawarmas! A couple of Turkish fellows were selling lamb or chicken schawarmas (They had a couple of Turkish flags hanging in their tent, so I assume they’re from that country.)

Unfortunately, I had just eaten and wasn’t hungry at all. They were doing a booming business. It’s coincidental that a reader left a comment on the blog about schawarmas. (Alan, are you reading this?) And, while I’m at it, let me give a BIG SHOUT OUT to his website, which features tons of recipes for this fantastic mid-Eastern food. Check it out at ShawarmaRecipe.com I hope the Turkish guys are here to set up a schawarma restaurant–I’ll be one of their best customers. (Yeosu has very few options if you’re hungry for something other than Korean food.)

There were also a couple of stages set up for performances, but my timing was bad–nothing much going on in that respect, though this small group was hamming it up and playing music for the crowd. Check out the older Korean on the far right and the man kicking up his heels to the left of him.

This wasn’t too far from the new bridge, which still isn’t open.

Overall, it was a great afternoon out. I can hardly wait for the Expo next year when there will be dozens of international booths (along with their respective foods). Gotta go–gettin’ hungry for breakfast and gotta work soon. More later.

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