Making a splash to celebrate the new year

Visitors posing for photos with divers wearing South Korea's traditional hanbok costume at Lotte World Aquarium in Seoul yesterday. Despite the festive fun, the aquarium was quiet as many people refrained from going out amid the third and largest wav
Visitors posing for photos with divers wearing South Korea's traditional hanbok costume at Lotte World Aquarium in Seoul yesterday. Despite the festive fun, the aquarium was quiet as many people refrained from going out amid the third and largest wave of coronavirus infection in the country.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SEOUL • Dressed in South Korea's traditional hanbok costume, two divers underwater at a Seoul aquarium made New Year bows to visitors.

Under mysterious yellow and blue lights in the country's largest 2,200 tonne water tank, which holds 650 species of marine life, the divers swam alongside stingrays, sharks and other fish.

Mr Yoo Hwan-girl, 27, who was there with his girlfriend, told Reuters: "It was a new and fun experience since I've never seen divers wearing hanbok in my life, and I haven't seen hanbok in a while because our family doesn't wear those on traditional holidays."

It is the fifth year that Lotte World Aquarium has held such a performance since it opened in mid-October 2014. But this year, along with a "Happy New Year" banner the aquarium installs in the water each year, another banner was put up saying "Let's beat the coronavirus wisely".

The aquarium was quiet yesterday as many people refrained from going out amid the third and largest wave of coronavirus infection in the country.

Another visitor, Mr Han Sang-jin, 36, who held his baby daughter in his arms, said: "It's unfortunate since (the aquarium) could have been a place where many people could enjoy... if it wasn't for the coronavirus."

Under its Covid-19 measures, the aquarium will be hosting the event twice a day every Saturday and Sunday and on public holidays through to Feb 20.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2021, with the headline 'Making a splash to celebrate the new year'. Subscribe