With the clock ticking toward 2013, meaning it will be 888 years before digital clocks can display consecutive date numbers in month, day and year order (01/01/01 etc.) many are making the most of Korea's many sunrise festivals to be held on New Year's Eve at selected eastern costal locations.
Some of the more popular events include:
Seongsan Sunrise Festival, that takes place on Jeju Island at Ilchulbong Peak area, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-si.
Visitors are asked to join the countdown and welcome the New Year at Jeju's premier sunrise attraction, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (also known as "Sunrise Peak"). Fishermen from every port will turn on their boat lights and blow their whistles in unison to mark the occasion. With the port town down below and a view of the sun coming up over the ocean, it is truly a spectacular sight. On New Year's Eve, there will be a Korean traditional game of ganggangsullae, in which participants hold hands and move in a large circle as they make a wish. A performance by a traditional folk band will add to the friendly ambience.
To get there from Jeju International Airport, take Bus 100 to Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. From Jeju Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Ilju Road (East). Get off at the entrance of Seongsan Ilchulbong.
Ganjeolgot Sunrise Festival at Ganjeolgot Lighthouse, Daesong-ri, Seosaeng-myeon, Ulju-gun, Ulsan-si.
Ganjeolgot is known as the seaside location where one can witness the first sunrise in Korea. People all across the nation gather to celebrate and watch the first sunrise of the New Year here. Celebrations also include a wide array of events such as fireworks, eating tteokguk (Korean rice cake soup traditionally eaten during New Year), and a wide range of performances. Nearby attractions include thick groves of pine trees, oddly-shaped rock formations and an onggi (earthenware) village.
From Ulsan Intercity/ Express Bus Terminal, take Bus 715 to Ganjeolgot.
Gyeongpo Sunrise Festival at Gyeongpodae Beach, Gangneung, Gangwon-do.
Gyeongpo Beach is well-known for its beauty, which shows itself in a different light throughout the year. On New Year's Eve, people gather for a huge celebration counting down the seconds until the New Year, watching fireworks and participating in an array of programs and cultural events.
Getting there from Gangneung Bus Terminal/Gangneung Station, take Bus 202 to Gyeongpodae.