Buddha

Samgwangsa on Buddha’s Birthday

Every year it comes. On the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, Korea celebrates Buddha’s Birthday. Among all of the holidays and festivals in South Korea, Buddha’s Birthday may be my favorite!

In Korean, they call it 석가탄신일 – seokga tansinil – or 부처님 오신 날 – bucheonim osin nal. In a literal sense, that means something like “the day when Buddha came.” A few weeks before the holiday itself, Buddhist temples all over the country begin preparing. They hang lanterns all over the temple and the grounds nearby. Sometimes the displays are modest, like at the small hermitages up in the remote mountains. Other times, the displays are large, lavish, and immensely colorful. There is one temple, however, which is simply breathtaking in it’s lantern display: 삼광사 – Samgwangsa.


Happy 2,578th Birthday Siddhartha Gautama (a.k.a Buddha)

Buddha’s Birthday was celebrated all over East Asia yesterday. Held on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, Buddhists attended their local temples for free vegetarian meals, sermons and to view fiery hand crafted lanterns.

The big guy has showed up quite a bit in my travels around the Far East. He’s appeared in temples, in picture, on rocks, on mountains, and a whole host of tourist crap. His eyes are usually shut and he looks like he might be sleeping; he seems like a pretty chilled out dude to be honest.

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not a Buddhist (nor am I much of anything really), though I do like a few of his ideas and have learnt a little about the guy.


Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

This image was made on my final day of my On-The-Road series, a 17-day, multi-city tour of peninsular South Korea. For the last day, I was caught in torrential downpours in the Seoraksan National Park as the heavens opened. I managed to seek refuge in Sinheung-sa grotto, carved into the rocks of Ulsanbawi. The monks here served me green tea and allowed me to rest in the grotto while the rain died down. I'm going to use this as my once chance to name an image after The Rolling Stones song, 'Gimme Shelter.'

Beautiful Fall Leaves in Gyeongsangnam-do!


Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 2 – Busan & Yangsan

This is the 2nd part of our Aunt Kathy’s trip to Korea! You can read about the first part of the trip in Seoul here. Now on to Busan! I was really excited about the train ride from Seoul to Yangsan, because after years I’m still not tired of Korea’s beautiful mountains and countryside. It ended up not being as clear as it could have been but it was still a nice ride! As Seoul faded from our minds, we started focusing on the next couple days in Busan.


Hongryongsa: Rainbow Dragon Temple

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I first saw this place posted on the Busan Lightstalkers page and I was interested. Where else can you find a temple next to a flowing waterfall near Ulsan or Busan? I had to investigate further. I searched Dale’s Korean Temple Adventures site, which is my go-to site for temples. It has the most comprehensive listing and detailed descriptions of Korean Temples and it always has what I am looking for.


Buddha’s Birthday at 반야사

 

The nearest Buddhist temple to our place is just across the road. In fact I pass it every time I go to work. It’s small and hidden up a small hill behind ample tree cover. In fact you’d miss it completely if it were for the multicoloured lanterns which line the street from early April, lanterns which are of course in anticipation of today, Buddha’s Birthday.


The Colossal Buddha

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One of the coolest things that I have seen in a long time happened when I was driving to my new job at Busan University of Foreign Studies. As I was driving along I saw a colossal Buddha statue on the horizon. It was huge! As I drove along I realized that this was infact a temple of some sort and was worth investigating.

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The Weekend Warrior’s Guide To… Busan

“A Weekend Warrior as defined by urbandictionary.com: A person who holds a regular job during the week which restricts their ability to party/go on trips/partake in awesome activities, and thus plans epic weekend adventures to compensate.”

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Marine City and Rainbow Bridge from Igidae


2013 Buddha’s Birthday~ Parade, Festival, & River lantern show

This year I went out to enjoy the festivities at the Yeon Deung Hwae Lotus Lantern Festival as usual for Buddha’s Birthday in Korea!  This holiday and festival is one of the cutest and most cultural events they seem to throw, so if you are visiting Korea in the Spring or new to Korea you should check it out!


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