Many of the UK’s annual festivals descend into unwelcome mud baths.
But revellers who travelled to South Korea’s Daecheon beach were looking for exactly that this week – as they proved by getting downright dirty at the annual Boryeong Festival.
Millions of people gathered to roll around in sloppy water at the vast ten-day event, which is now celebrating its 19th year.
Dive in: A tourist expresses his delight as he gets mud messy at the annual Boryeong festival
In order to model the site, earth is taken from the Boryeong mud flats, 200km south of Seoul, and driven to the site for its transformation into a messy wonderland.
Inside, people can indulge their passions for wrestling, mud pools and face-painting with the nutrient-rich sludge.
There’s also an open-air disco, Miss Mud beauty pageant, mud yoga and sports activities including a relay race and a marathon.
Ensuring people can access all of the site’s attractions, which includes magicians, there’s even a tram which transports people from one end to another.
Splat! One attendee hurls the nutrient-rich mud at her friend, who cowers on a bouncy castle
Getting down and dirty: The festival, which began on Friday, opens with an outdoor disco
They’re not squeaky clean! Music fans rave it up as the sludge beneath them splashes around
The festival was originally conceived as a marketing tool for Boryeong mud cosmetics in 1998, which traded on the mineral-rich material.
Since then it has become popular among locals, and attracts a staggering 400,000 tourists annually.
It isn’t completely without controversy. In 2009 a group of 230 school children developed a skin rash after contact with the mud, sparking concern from health officials.
But, despite this, it remains a major destination point.
Another fine mess: Locals from the South West region get carried away with the festivities
Tourist attraction: More than 400,000 tourists flock to the unusual event each year
Origins: The festival was originally conceived as a marketing tool for Boryeong mud cosmetics in 1998, who traded on the mineral-rich material