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AKIPRESS.COM - Slipping, sliding, wrestling, showering and painting in mud can be on anyone's travel wish list. It's not just any kind of mud but Boryeong mud, Korea's mineral-rich west-coast mud, which contains germanium and bentonite, both of which are great for the skin, Chosun's Ramy Salameh says.
Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in Boryeong, a town around 200 km south of Seoul. The first festival was staged in 1998, and attracted 2.2 million visitors by 2007.
The mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats, and trucked to the Daecheon beach area, where it is used as the centrepiece of the so-called Mud Experience Land. The mud is considered rich in minerals and used to manufacture cosmetics.
Although the festival takes place over a period of around two weeks, it is most famous for its final weekend, which is popular with Korea's western population. The final weekend of the festival usually falls on the second weekend in July.
The festival has reached something of a cult status among the expatriate community. It attracts a young, beautiful and generally well-toned audience, ready to dive headlong down a huge inflatable slide, have buckets of mud thrown over them within a make-shift prison and to be literally painted, from follicles to toes, using their bodies as mud canvases in the pursuit of total immersion.
Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has designated the festival as a special attraction, but the vast majority of festivals here are largely unknown beyond Korea’s borders, even though a few have the right ingredients to attract festival-goers from around the world.
The South Korea's mud festival “has all the ingredients to be much better known, but it needs to be supported by greater government funding, celebrity endorsements and by organizers aligning themselves and collaborating with other major worldwide festivals,” Ramy Salameh noticed.