S Korean mud festival gets messy

22:03, Jul 16 2012
Mud Fesitval
A mud victim tries to get warm.
Mud Fesitval
A woman plays in mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival.
Mud Fesitval
A festival-goer gets an upside-down bath.
Mud Fesitval
Getting the full mud treatment.
Mud Fesitval
The pigtail of a tourist on the opening day of the Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon beach.
Mud Fesitval
Chaos on the opening day of the Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon beach.
Mud Fesitval
Leaping into the mud bath.
Mud Fesitval
A tourist gasps for breath.

Tourists flocking to South Korea's Daecheon beach can't wait to get down and dirty.

For nine days the coastal city, southwest of Seoul, paints itself a dull shade of grey, for the annual Boryeong Mud Festival.

Now into its 13th year, the festival is expected to attract up to three million domestic and international tourists, according to the festival organisation.

Boryeong says its mud has special powers to refresh the skin and soothe the soul.

One part of the festival gives visitors the chance to play in 200 tonnes of the greyish goo at mud wrestling pits, mud slides and mud baths. Somewhere along the line, ample supplies of alcohol add to the high spirits.

The other part of the festival is pitching beauty and skincare products made with mud from the nearby mudflats.

But the mud festival ritual is pretty much the same for all visitors. Step one: arrive in clean clothes. Step two: get muddy, often while enjoying a tasty beverage. 

 

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Reuters