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article imageUnder One Skin: Korean Mud Festival continues to gain recognition Special

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By Dinh Nguyen
Jul 22, 2013 in World
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What started as a promotion for a mud-made cosmetic line has become one of South Korea’s most anticipated highlights — the Boryeong Mud Festival.
Each year mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats and brought to the Daecheon beach area by truck. Millions of people: tourists, working expats, American military personals, and Korean locals alike, are heading south of Seoul to bathe in mud, to say the least.
Running from July 19 to 28 this year, the annual two-week festival has been gaining international recognition since its conception in 1998. Last year roughly 20 tons of Boryeong mud was exported to Dalian, China so that they may hold their own mud festival, according to Arirang News. This year, city officials from Japan and China were sent to the Korean Mud festival to learn more about it.
People from all over the world  took to Boryeong  South Korea to attend the annual Mud Festival. For...
People from all over the world took to Boryeong, South Korea to attend the annual Mud Festival. For the next two weeks, Daecheon beach will be decorated with color.
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"We hope to host a mud festival one day in Japan, but for now, we are not familiar with the idea. So we need time to inform people," said Japanese Educational Director, Kazuo Eto on Arirang News.
The festival is often depicted through mudslides and mud wrestling on posters and videos. The actual event is much larger. Among other activities, colored mud body painting, beach play, and military air shows are also on the festive itinerary during the day. At night, tents and stalls are lively as people take to the streets to enjoy food, alcohol, and dancing. There are also live concerts, rooftop parties, artsy cafes, carnival games, and a massive firework show on the beach. Some of the festivities go on until early morning.
"The ads only show the one side of [the festival]. I really enjoy the relaxing on the beach and meeting new people side of it," said Christina Malott from Florida, U.S.A. "It’s like the social barrier weakens when you put on the mud. Everyone becomes friends. Strangers are rubbing mud on strangers."
Much like the Dead Sea mud, Boryeong mud is believed to be very healthy for the skin. It is rich in minerals, and helps removes impurities and toxins when applied. There are stores along the coastline that sell skincare products made from mud. Snack stalls and convenience stores also carry mud cosmetics.
For people thinking of attending the festival, it is best to book lodging accommodations in advance. While many do choose to sleep on the beach, both options —indoors and out— get crowded quickly.
Children gather and push to slide down a mud tube.
Children gather and push to slide down a mud tube.
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Two friends began their journey through this stand-and-run slide clean. They were covered in mud by ...
Two friends began their journey through this stand-and-run slide clean. They were covered in mud by the end of the ride.
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Mud Festival photos
Mud Festival photos
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Even with all the love and laughter  it s never fun to get mud in the eye.
Even with all the love and laughter, it's never fun to get mud in the eye.
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Oh well. The party continues.
Oh well. The party continues.
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Grey mud was free for everyone  it cost money to be painted in color.
Grey mud was free for everyone, it cost money to be painted in color.
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Mud Festival photos
Mud Festival photos
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Jumping  cheering and drinking as bands played on a stage on the beach.
Jumping, cheering and drinking as bands played on a stage on the beach.
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Hello stranger. Let s rub mud all over each other.
Hello stranger. Let's rub mud all over each other.
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At the Boryeong Mud Festival everyone s a celebrity. Thousands of photographers attend  the event to...
At the Boryeong Mud Festival everyone's a celebrity. Thousands of photographers attend the event to take pictures of people covered in mud.
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The sky was also painted with color with an air show.
The sky was also painted with color with an air show.
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The mascots.
The mascots.
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article:354891:13::0
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