The Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) is an annual event that colors Korea with bright lanterns in celebration of the birth of Buddha. Started as a religious festival during the Silla Dynasty (57 BC – AD 935), this traditional festival has come to be enjoyed by thousands of people every year, regardless of background, nationality, or religion.
The slogan for 2017’s festival is “We Can Make a World without Discrimination,” created with the aim of promoting respect and kindness by inviting citizens to come together. Various programs and events are scheduled, from the lantern parade featuring lanterns shaped like Buddhist instruments to a talk concert hosted by monks at the Buddhism culture plaza.
International visitors coming to Korea in late April should definitely not miss this wonderful opportunity! The Lotus Lantern Festival is a huge event that only takes place near the end of April. Read on to find out more about the diverse hands-on activities and things to see at the festival!
1. Lotus Lantern Parade
International visitors coming to watch the parade will also have the chance to learn the rhythmic movements of the parade with the help of over one hundred members of the Global Supporters group. In addition, this year’s parade is expected to be quite special, with the participation of various nations carrying lanterns representing their countries, including Thailand and Taiwan.
2. Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns
In remembrance of the birth of Buddha, exhibitions of traditional lanterns will be on display for a ten-day period in various parts of Seoul including Ujeong Park by Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple and Cheongyecheon Stream. These exhibitions provide a wonderful opportunity to marvel at the unassuming charm of Korea’s traditional paper, hanji. In particular, Cheonggyecheon Stream’s exhibition will display quality lanterns with a theme of “yeomcheon,” meaning “to think of the sky.”
3. Traditional Cultural Events
The Traditional Culture Zone will be prepared in front of Jogyesa Temple, featuring approximately 130 booths run by Buddhist organizations and temples from across the nation. These booths provide a chance for visitors to learn about and better understand Buddhist culture. International visitors in particular will enjoy the chance to try temple foods and hands-on crafts.
4. Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration)
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