A Travellerspoint blog

MAY 2007 Buddha's Birthday

A Lotus Lantern Parade and another visit from London and Malaysia

sunny 15 °C

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Lotus Lantern Festival is held every year in spring to celebrate Buddha's Birthday which falls on the eighth day of the forth month of the Lunar Calendar. It is an official holiday in South Korea and festival includes many programs for Buddhist as well as non -Buddhist locals and tourists to enjoy like - making lanterns, sampling temple food, traditional Korean games etc.

Although only 15% of Korean population (according to most statistics) consider themselves to be Buddhists at the moment -The Lotus Lantern Parade was definetely the most bright and colorful event we had seen in Korea. It attracted crowds of people of all ages,
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from Korea as well as other countries,
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that marched joyfully through the central streets of Seoul bringing the sounds of drums, dancing and chantings for enlightment and peace.

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The parade was a real race of lanterns that came in many shapes and sizes, home made or state of the art ones representing different temples and Buddhist groups in shapes of the Buddha or Buddhist monks

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scary dragons, animals and other creatures.

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We only wished we knew more of what they were symbolising.

Our favourite however was a group with instruments made out of recyclable materials. They were definetely the most original and enthusiastic ones amongst the parade!!!

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We ended the evening with the dinner in the restaurant near the temple where all the lanterns where going to, so we could still watch parts of the parade and enjoy the noise.

Just a few days before the festival, our friend from London Kai and his girlfriend Wisky arrived in Seoul for their holiday in Korea and Jeju Island.
Although they had their own itinerary and understandably wanted to spend as much time as possible in their own company, we managed to hook up with them a few times!
We all went on a cruise on the Han river, to celebrate our birthdays with a buffet dinner, some drinks and "live entertainment"! Although it was cheesy and as the average age of other cruisers indicated most popular amongst the elder Koreans, the food was good and so was the company so I think we all enjoyed it although we all lacked in courage ( or drinks consumption) for the boogie on the dance floor.....

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Posted by Bulls 04:32 Archived in South Korea Tagged family_travel

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