This past weekend, Busan hosted probably Korea’s largest spontaneous all white picnic party on its famous Haeundae Beach. The origin of this flash-mob-style dinner began in France 1988, and is now celebrated in over 70 cities worldwide with close to 120,000 guest participants yearly.
Per tradition, this exclusive event is by invite only and those that are already members by attending a previous year’s dinner gets precedent. The wait list for Diner En Blanc usually exceeds the 1,000’s as everyone is clamoring to get a spot at this beautiful event. Luckily, I was a chosen one.
It is a function shroud in secrecy and the actual location is not revealed until 15 minutes prior to arrival time. This was Korea’s first annual Diner En Blanc hosted in Busan, and as many guest suspected, the event would be held on their famous Haeundae beach. The spectacular sight of seeing over 500 guests lavishly dressed in stark white gowns and suits was a sight to behold. The backdrop of the beautiful ocean made it look like several hundred brides and grooms were about to get hitched on the beach in some large group destination wedding. Korean spectators and other beach goers watched on from afar as everyone set up their white tables and dinning displays. Bottles of champagne and wine popping throughout could be heard as gourmet meals were being served. The start of the dinner commenced with everyone waving their white dinner napkins high in the air.
Diner En Blanc Busan went all out as guest got to enjoy live entertainment from Korean R&B artist as they dined. When dinner was done, fireworks popped off and the dance floor opened for guest to cut loose. From probably one of the longest conga lines I’ve ever joined in, to getting picked up and dancing on stage with the DJ, I never thought we’d be able to turn a Korean beach into basically a night club. Strangers from all over Korea brought together for one fun filled night definitely created a sense of community. Diner En Blanc Busan was an unforgettable night, one that all guests in attendance will surely remember for years to come.