580,000 locals, foreigners gather to 'get messy' on first day of South Korea's annual mud festival

The nine-day festival will continue in the coastal city of Boryeong until July 24. (Image courtesy: commons.wikipedia.org) Photograph:( Others )

Reuters Boryeong, South Korea Jul 16, 2016, 10.44 AM (IST)
Kids and adults were seen enjoying getting dirty on the first day of annual mud festival in the South Korean coastal city of Boryeong today.

According to the event organiser, about 580,000 locals and foreigners gathered to 'get messy' at the city's 19th Mud Festival in Boryeong, located about 190km (120 miles) southwest of Seoul.

'I feel like a child'

The festival ritual is the same for all visitors as they arrive in clean clothes and soon get very dirty - so much so that they can hardly recognise themselves.

"I feel like a child again. I feel like when I was a little kid I used to run around at home and played in the mud and my mom always get mad at me. But now I can do whatever I want. So it's awesome to come back here enjoying myself with my friends having a great time. So it has been a lot of fun," 31-year-old US citizen, Anthony Lopeze, said.

Some areas of the festival site allowed revellers to play in mud wrestling pits filled with grayish goo, as well as so-called mud prisons and also in mud baths.

"Actually it's pretty fun I grew up on the island, I'm from island Guam. I'm used be being outdoors, and I miss just like the outdoors. I enjoyed the mud I'm used to being on the beach and I'd just love the being outside," said Flores Rico, 23-year-old US citizen.

Many South Korean families from various regions also enjoyed the muddy experience with their children.

"We're from a different region. It took about five hours by bus to be here. I'm so happy to come Boryeong Mud Festival with my son and have a good time," 48-year-old South Korean father, Jeong Sang-yong said.

The nine-day festival will continue until July 24.