Ok so maybe not a run… more like a crawl, a pub crawl to be exact. Actually let me back this story up a little bit.
Saturday evening I was in 홍대 (Hongdae) heading back home from Bau House with my puppy and boyfriend when we noticed a group of foreigners dressed in Santa gear. It was a little random, but hey it’s Hongdae, I’ve seen stranger. As we continued toward the subway, what stared a trickling had turned into a flood; A flood of Santas all heading in the same direction. I had to know what was going on so we went up to a jolly and apparently intoxicated fellow and asked what was up, to which he replied, “It’s Santa Con man! We’re doing the pub crawl! Get it?!?”
After a very awkward conversation we learned that every year on the second Saturday of December foreigners and their Korean friends gather together in 홍대 and pub hop, while spreading holiday cheer of course. It was an amusing concept to say the least. So, on the way home we decided “hey, why not?” After going home, dropping off the dog and putting on some red clothes we went back to 홍대 picked up a Santa hat, some reindeer antlers and headed out. It wasn’t hard to spot a mob of Kringles kicking it outside of Ho Bar. In fact, once we got there we were greeted with incredible enthusiasm and hand shakes and… hugs? When we went into Ho Bar it was overflowing with all kinds of Santas; Thin Santas, Fat Santas, Sexy Santas, Batman Santas, Superman Santas, Robot Santas… the list goes on. I’m more of a reindeer lover so there I was with my antlers in a sea of red and white trim, when people started coming up to me and petting me while saying “Santa’s gotta have reindeer, right?”
As the night progressed I came across a few of my other fellow reindeer, some of whom were in full body suits. Actually, I was quite amazed at how many people came in full out Santa Suits. At some point, a huge group gathered in the park to mingle amongst very amused and confused Koreans. There must have been at least a hundred people there, not to mention a band of university students playing in the middle of this festive mess. After that groups started breaking off and heading out to clubs and other bars.
Of course the festivities weren’t received well by everyone and Ho Bar II actually kicked out any foreigners dressed in Santa attire. It was a small damper on an otherwise pretty fun night and I will definitely be participating next year. So, if you’re in Korea next December be sure to strap on a beard and head out to 홍대 for some real holiday cheer.