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Whale Culture Festival kicks off in port city of Ulsan

According to Yonhap News,

(ULSAN=Yonhap News) The annual "Whale Culture Festival" kicked off on Thursday in the port city of Ulsan with organizers promising to entertain and educate locals and foreign visitors alike on the city's unique ties with the marine mammal.

The whale fest, set to run until Sunday, took place in the seaside area of Jangsaengpo Harbor in the bustling industrial city located 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The harbor is widely known as a "Whale Culture Special District" and "cultural heritage zone" to commemorate the peninsular country's long-enduring affection for the giant sea mammal.

Ulsan and Jangsaengpo, in particular, has a long heritage involving whales since the waters off its shores boosted a large and diverse range of marine mammals before they were hunted by foreign whalers in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries.

The official opening ceremony began at 7:30 p.m. with congratulatory cultural performances. The highlights of the opening ceremony are the firework display, multi-media show and the skydiving event with actors in light-emitting diode suits jumping off from a giant whale-shaped airship.

Seo Dong-wook, the chief of Namgu District of Ulsan, delivered the congratulatory speech.

This year's "Whale Culture Festival" offers a total of 38 cultural programs in seven venues, including the Whale Culture Village and Whale Museum in Jangsaengpo.

The Jangsaengpo Multi-purpose Arena, a venue for the opening and closing ceremony of the festivities, staged singing and performing arts.

The Whale Square in Whale Culture Village hosted K-pop performances, such as "Club JSP" with hip hop and band performances. Locals and college students also joined in the festivities on the singing-and-dancing stage.

Dolphin Yard, adjoining the Whale Museum, will host musical, book readings, magic shows and puppet shows starting Friday.

One of the most popular events at the festival is the water performance, a modern adaptation of the South Korean ancestral ritual among whale hunters. An actor wearing a whale costume puts on an aquatic show on a flyboard, shooting water cannons at the speculators. The show is held three times a day.

On the sideline of the whale festival are the food tents, offering regional specialties such as whale bread, as well as the diorama of old Jangsaengpo.

Organizers said the cultural event has been covered globally, with reporters and producers from Chinese media outlets featuring stories of the festival.

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (May 26, 2016)