Let me introduce the origin of the
Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originated from the fact that during the Battle of Jinjuseong Fortress during the Imjin War, Japanese soldiers were stopped from crossing the river and the lanterns were floated on the Namgang River to convey their regards to their families.
It was designated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as Korea’s representative festival, and at the same time, it is a luxury festival that has been selected as a global nurturing festival in Korea for 5 consecutive years.
The event of floating Yudeung in Namgang River in Jinju has its origins in Jinjudaecheop, one of the three major battles of the Imjin War.
In October of the year of Imjin(1592), the 1st Battle of Jinjuseong Fortress was fought by 3,800 Suseong Army soldiers(who guard the castle) including Jinju pastor Kim Si-min, and 20,000 Japanese soldiers who invaded Jinjuseong Fortress for 6 days. In the midst of a fierce battle, the Suseong Army soldiers(who guard the castle) of Jinjuseong Fortress floated a lantern on the Namgang River on a pitch-black night, and used it as a military tactic to stop the Japanese forces from crossing the Namgang and, on the other hand, as a means of communication to send greetings to family members outside the fortress.
In June of the year of Gyesa(1593), in the 2nd Battle of Jinjuseong Fortress, 70,000 civilians, governments officials, and soldiers who fought against the Japanese with the spirit of saving the country were killed and Jinjuseong Fortress became the site of overcoming the national crisis of the Imjin War.
Later, the people of Jinju floated lanterns on the Namgang River to comfort the souls of the martyrs who devoted their lives to overcoming the national crisis in the year of Imjin and Gyesa. This tradition has continued and Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival has been established as a global festival in Korea.