Life in Seoul #5: Eid al Adha, Seoul International Fireworks Festival

The fireworks (1)

So apparently there were some different decisions from ulama around the world on when the 10th of Dzulhijjah was. While muslims in Indonesia and Japan celebrated in on October 5th, we in Korea conducted eid prayer on the 4th. Nevertheless, I was so happy to be able to experience my first eid in Korea.

I went to Seoul Central Masjid, also known as Itaewon Mosque with my Malaysian friend early in the morning. The prayer itself started at 10. A little bit late, but I guess it was to let muslims living in the outskirts come as well. As expected I met a lot of Malaysians and other Indonesians. But what caught my eyes were Korean muslimah (muslim women) with their kids. Another thing that made me amazed was, subhanallah, the prayer was lead by a Korean imam. His recitation was really clear and smooth, and I bet I was not the only one being moved there.

The view from sisters’ floor

After the prayer, I was introduced with my friends’ friend, who introduced me to her friends (sorry for the confusion). Long story short, I had lunch with three inspiring Indonesian students (wait, I guess one of them is working now). Somehow I felt like meeting long lost friends despite the fact that I just knew them that day.

So this random encounters continued until I was introduced to another girl who apparently was my senior in high school. She asked me to go with her to Seoul International Fireworks Festival. As someone who loves fireworks, I had no reason to say no.

I was more than surprised to see how crowded the venue at Yeouido Hangang Park (one of the parks facing Han river)  was. Yeoinaru station, the station closest to this park, was even closed due to the overload of passengers. Some Koreans even build camping tents there! According to my friend, these people had stayed there since the day before, just to make sure they have the best spot. This is because the festival is held only once in a year.

This is just… 10% of the actual crowd

Indeed, the show was pretty cool. I liked the finale because it just felt different. Maybe because the sky literally turned red (my fave color!) for a moment.

The finale

Going home after the 1.5-hour fireworks show was much tougher than I thought. Knowing that taking subway might as well mean committing suicide, I followed my friend’s friends living in the same area and went home by bus. Another new experience for me who prefers taking subway most of the time.

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