They construct the tower of wood for several days leading up to the festival. Then, when the day comes, they light it, and people are encouraged to run up (yep, they're running because of the enormous amount of smoke and heat that fire gives off) and throw stuff in....either bad memories from the past year they're trying to get rid of or wishes for the new year. They also have many performances near the fire.
They do this on the major beaches here, and the big fire here on Haeundae Beach attracted a massive number of people. Since it was on a Sunday afternoon, I left my three guys at home and went on a walk to inspect this tradition.
Now that's one serious kite. There were lots of kites being flown out there, but this one takes the cake.
Not sure what this says, but I thought it was really neat how they laid cups on the sand with a candle in it to spell something. I could see it lit up from down the beach later that night.
As I was walking home, I came across this singer. What's funny is that when I walked up, he was starting this song about love and handed the girl in the front row a small piece of paper (I pan to her in the video....she's on her phone...texting him maybe?).