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Traditional celebrations are highlights of the year in Jeju

CJU,Cheju

Jeju-do is a self-governing island located in South Korea. As a result of its isolation from the mainland, Jeju has developed a language and culture that are quite distinct from the rest of the country. The island has a very matriarchal family structure, due in part to the Haenyo or 'sea women', divers who used to harvest conches, abalones and other marine creatures in order to provide for their families. This destination is also home to thousands of local legends, many of which are celebrated with festivals, including the Seven Fairies Festival.

The Seven Fairies Festival is held in May every other year and celebrates spring and the legend of the seven fairies. This legend states that on a bright, starry night, seven fairies came down from the heavens to bathe in the waters of Cheonjeyeon (translated as pond of the Heaven's Emperor).

Locals gather to celebrate this event, which revolves around several dancing displays and beautiful performances. Beginning early in the morning and continuing long into the night, the festival is a relaxing and joyous way to spend the day, with beautiful music, dancing and costumes to admire. The main focal point of the dancing is the seven-fairy dance, while other ceremonies and competitions take place throughout the event paying tribute to this local legend.

Jeju-do is a popular tourist destination throughout the years, thanks to the unique culture and food on offer. However, springtime is an ideal time to visit thanks to the sheer number of celebrations, including this Seven Fairies Festival.