Divers in 'Hanbok' send New Year greetings from underwater at South Korean aquarium

Daewoung Kim
·1 min read
New Year celebrations at an aquarium in Seoul

By Daewoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Dressed in South Korea's traditional costume 'Hanbok', two divers at a Seoul aquarium make New Year bows to visitors from underwater.

Under mysterious yellow and blue lights in the country's largest 2,200-ton water tank called 'The Ocean', the divers swam alongside stingrays, sharks and other fish.

"It was a new and fun experience since I've never seen divers wearing hanbok in my life, and I haven't seen hanbok in a while because our family doesn't wear those on traditional holidays," Yoo Hwan-girl, a 27-year-old who came with his girlfriend, told Reuters.

It is the fifth year the Lotte World Aquarium, which holds around 650 species of marine life, has held such a performance since it opened in mid-October 2014.

But this year, along with a 'Happy New Year' banner the aquarium installs in the water each year, it installed another banner saying 'Let's beat the coronavirus wisely'.

The aquarium was quiet on a Sunday afternoon as many people refrained from going out amid the third and largest wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

"It's unfortunate since (the aquarium) could have been a place where many people could enjoy altogether if it wasn't for the coronavirus," a 36-year-old dad Han Sang-jin said, with his baby daughter held in his arms.

Under its COVID-19 measures, the aquarium will be hosting the event twice a day on every Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays through to Feb. 20.

(This stort corrects detail of the aquarium in 4th para)

(Reporting by Daewoung Kim, Writing by Joori Roh; Editing by Kim Coghill)