Seoul Anticipates 100,000 Attendees for New Year’s Eve Bell-Ringing Ceremony

SEOUL - Central Seoul is gearing up for its annual New Year's Eve bell-tolling ceremony at the Bosingak Pavilion, an event that has been a staple in the city since 1953. City officials, who announced the plans on Sunday, are preparing for a gathering of approximately 100,000 people for this year's celebration.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the event will commence at 11 p.m. at Bosingak Pavilion. The evening will feature an array of performances and a parade showcasing traditional Korean plays. This parade will cover a 400-meter stretch of the street from Bosingak. The bell-ringing ceremony at midnight, a central highlight of the event, will be succeeded by the unveiling of the "Midnight Sun." This 12-meter-radius artifact, symbolizing the new year, will be displayed on Sejong-daero, a prominent boulevard in central Seoul.

Following the bell-ringing ceremony, a K-pop concert is scheduled to take place on a stage set up on Sejong-daero. This concert will include performances by popular K-pop bands such as Enhypen, The Boyz, and Oh My Girl, adding to the festive atmosphere of the evening. The entire event will be livestreamed on the city's YouTube channel for wider accessibility.

In anticipation of the large turnout, the city is deploying around 1,100 safety and traffic guards. Additionally, the police will have approximately 2,490 officers on duty to ensure public safety. The expected crowd size of 100,000 is double that of last year's gathering.

For crowd control purposes, the city has announced that the subway will bypass Jonggak Station, near the Bosingak Pavilion, from 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1. Furthermore, to facilitate the return of visitors, buses and the subway will operate until 2 a.m.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has personally inspected the ceremony locations to review safety measures against potential crowd-related accidents. His office reported that Han directed officials to diligently prepare, particularly during the critical midnight hours and at the conclusion of the ceremony, to prevent any incidents.

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