The trees on the roads along Deoksugung Palace, Seoul, South Korea, are decked out in colorful crocheted blankets and ready for the winter.
A Reel showing residents wrapping the blankets around the trees earlier last month has gone viral on Instagram, with more than 1.1 million views.
The creator of the Reel, 27-year-old freelancer Toyoung Ryu Park, told Almost that as she is lives near Deoksugung Palace, she happened on the scene one day and decided to take some videos and turned them into a Reel.
“Something about it made me feel touched, which is why I ended up approaching one of the elders and started having a chat with her,” she said.
The woman told her that it is part of an initiative by volunteers in the community to protect the trees against pests, which dig into the trees for shelter during winter, Park said.
Each of the blankets are unique and crocheted by different volunteers.
Seong-Eun Chung, a 37-year-old simultaneous interpreter who lives in the area, told Almost that they saw a flyer seeking volunteers to join the project and decided to make their own blanket.
“The stone-wall road along the Deoksugung Palace is one of my favorite places to take a walk with my family, so I thought it would be quite memorable to have a tree with my own crochet blanket,” they said.
Led by two experts, the initiative aimed to crochet blankets for 228 trees and involved roughly 100 volunteers, Chung – whose blanket features their daughter’s name – said.
The team worked on it for about four months starting early June, they said.
Both Park and Chung said people loved the idea.
“Everyone regardless of age and gender is enjoying it!” Chung said.“I was grateful that many were interested and were touched by the crochet blankets. I hope those of you who cannot be here in person could enjoy via Instagram.”