The Korea Herald


Miss Chunhyang beauty pageant accepts foreign candidates for first time

By Lim Jae-seong

Published : March 13, 2024 - 17:41

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Participants of former Miss Chunhyang beauty pageants (Chunhyang Festival Organizing Committee) Participants of former Miss Chunhyang beauty pageants (Chunhyang Festival Organizing Committee)

For the first time in its 75-year history, South Korea's Miss Chunhyang beauty pageant will see foreign nationals compete.

This year’s beauty pageant is accepting applicants from five countries -- China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Canada -- the Chunhyang Festival Organizing Committee told The Korea Herald on Wednesday.

Named after the heroine of the Korean folk tale Chunhyangjeon, the Miss Chunhyang beauty pageant has taken place in the story's setting of Namwon, North Jeolla Province, since 1950.

Honoring the character of Chunhyang's many abilities and fidelity, the pageant awards the title of Miss Chunhyang to contestants who best epitomize Korean traditional virtues. The contest had previously only been open to Korean nationals and Koreans living overseas.

The preliminary rounds of the contest have wrapped up in China, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, but applications are being collected in Canada through Saturday.

Applicants who pass the first round in each country will be asked to take part in the final in Namwon on May 15. Airline tickets to Korea will be provided to successful applicants.

The pageant aims to transform the Chunhyang Festival, a local Namwon-based celebration, into a global event, the committee said. The pageant will be the main event at the festival.

The committee plans to start receiving applications from more countries next year after reviewing the results of this year’s pageant.

The Miss Chunhyang beauty pageant has produced many Korean stars including actor Yoon Son-ha, who starred in drama series in Japan and Korea.

The pageant will award six competitors with a title. The titles -- Jin, Seon, Mi, Jeong, Sook and Hyun -- refer to traditional Korean virtues.

The prize money awarded to competitors will range from 1 million won ($760) to 10 million won.