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Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originated from the concept of yudeung(floating lanterns) that were used as military signals to prevent Japanese armies from crossing the river and as communications sent to their families during the Japanese Invasion(1592). Held as an event of Gaecheon Art Festival, the first local art festival of Korea, Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival was specifically named in 2000. It was designated as a preliminary festival in 2003, a fostered festival in 2004, a great festival in 2005, the greatest festival from 2006 to 2010, and a Korean representative festival from 2011 to 2013. Designated as a honorary Korean representative festival in 2014 and a Korea Global Promotion Festival since 2015, the festival is known as one of world heritage festivals.
Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival is a global festival that was exported to Winterlude Festival in Canada, LA Korean Festival, Niagara Falls Winter Lights Festival in Canada, Boarder Festival in USA and Xian Wall Lantern Festival in China.