Every summer, Pohang floods with tourists for a few days of celebration and explosions. Pohang isn’t exactly a tourist hot spot, but for the International Fireworks Festival the crowds come in droves. This year was the second I’ve been in town for the show and, just like two years ago, the festivities did not disappoint.
I brought my camera, but made sure to enjoy the show and just click the shutter when things seemed interesting. Surprisingly, a lot of the blindly-taken photographs turned out well–even some where rain had gotten onto my lens. The distortion caused by the water created some cool images.
While many firework shows are a single performance, the Pohang festival is different. In addition to the festival itself stretching over several days, the main show is comprised of several smaller performances.
Three countries are usually selected to compete. This year, it was the U.K., Australia, and Poland throwing down. Each country sets off their fireworks in carefully orchestrated displays, synchronized to music. The competition is judged as whose display is best overall. This year, it was Poland, last of the competitors, who secured the victory by a comfortable margin.
After the competition finished, Korea put on a show of their own. They pulled out all the stops, the thunderous finale left the very bones of our bodies resonating from the explosions. By the end, the smoke was so thick you could taste it, the fireworks obscured by the haze over the water.
When it was over, we packed up our drenched mat and followed the river of humanity away from the beach. While the rain poured, spirits remained high.
For more information, head to Pohang’s English website. Dates and locations for festival events should be listed there. Have fun, and enjoy Pohang!