May in Seoul Part 2

After the Jongmyo Daejae, Seoul was merry on the 19th. The Lotus Lantern Festival was an event to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. It was a parade of Buddhist society around Seoul, the contingents were the representatives of temples or Buddhist communities and institutions. The festival started at Dongguk University(as the biggest Buddhist university located in the heart of Seoul), ceremony started at 4 pm and parade started at 7pm, and ended up at Jogyesa Temple in Insadong later that night. The route was Dongguk Univ. > Dongdaemun > Jong-no Street > Jogyesa Temple.

The opening ceremony at Dongguk Univ. baseball field, started at 4pm. People were dancing and singing, and later of course…praying. I imagined it was the same situation as if I attended a Christmas event. The Buddhist were celebrating their lord’s coming to this world, their savior. I didn’t have to feel (that) happy for other people’s lord’s birthday, but attending other religion’s event is okay. I just don’t get that some people against attending Christmas event while being okay attending other-than-Christian’s event. Attending such event doesn’t relate to our own faith, right? If the point is enjoying the moment, then that’s it. I just wanted to enjoy this interesting lotus lantern festival. It’s my first time, and I did enjoy it…seeing those people in beautiful colors and cute lanterns, I couldn’t miss this.

Anyway, the big earthy-color building is The Shilla Hotel across the street.

A group of traditional drum performers.

The parade started.

We didn’t walk along the parade, because it’d be so much tiring. So we decided to just waited at Jongno, across the street of Jongmyo Shrine. In this late Spring, the sun doesn’t set until around 7.30. So even though it’s already 7, it’s still bright and the lantern wasn’t that  interesting yet.

When the sun finally set… there they go the lanterns!

Dragons were the most common lantern in this festival, along with the figure of Buddha and elephant.

Our university’s elephant lantern 🙂

The phoenix…

The dancing ladies..

The Goddess and the Queen…

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