Various events and celebrations have been
and are being held across Korea to mark Buddha’s Birthday.
For a look at the importance of the day and a lantern festival held in central Seoul,
Lee Ji-won reports. Korea is celebrating Buddha’s 2-THOUSAND-560th
birthday. And to mark the occasion, various events are
being held in central Seoul,… with bright and colorful decorations lighting up the city’s
Buddhist temples. During this season, more people visit the
temples to cleanse their minds and souls. “Buddha taught us the righteous way of living…
and I am really thankful for that. It’s also nice to come here with my daughter.” With a history spanning 16-hundred years,
Buddhism is a major religion in Korea with an estimated ten million Buddhists in the
country The government designated the day as a public
holiday in 2005. But Seokgatansinil, as Koreans call it, has
a much deeper meaning. “One of Buddha’s greatest teachings is that
people need to do good deeds. People are aware of such teachings, but are too stressed to
practice them. So Buddha’s Birthday gives us the opportunity to embrace it and reflect
on ourselves.” One of the major events on Buddha’s Birthday
is the lantern festival. With the meaning of enlightenment and symbolizing
hope, lanterns are lit and hung during this season.
And like every other year, ornate lanterns of all shapes and sizes light up the paths
along the Cheonggyecheon Stream in northern Seoul.
Made with colorful traditional hanji paper, the lanterns portray traditional Korea and
Buddhism. Couples, families and friends stop by to admire
the entrancing lanterns. It’s a festive event that provides more enjoyment
on Buddha’s Birthday. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.