Lotus Lantern Festival

Lotus Lantern Festival

This weekend is a four-day holiday here in Busan, which is super-rare in Korea because Koreans tend not to take vacations that often.  As I was telling my sister this morning, this is the first day we’ve had off work since Lunar New Year in late January.  Koreans will be celebrating both Children’s Day and Buddha’s Birthday this week, so the city is full of traditional lotus lantern decorations.  

A couple weekends ago, we went to the Lotus Lantern Festival at Yongdusan Park (near Busan Tower, Nampo subway stop, exit 1).  While by no means as massive as Jinju’s yearly lanter festival (which I am just now realizing I have never posted about–I will remedy this posthaste), this is a nice way to spend an evening.  Ric and I had a fabulous dinner at Arun Thai then walked off all that yummy pad thai checking out the lanterns and folk crafts in the park. 


Buddha, please forgive me for the late birthday wishes.


well rounded.

I cannot drink alcohol for a month (don't really want to either, only 4 months left and still so much left to do!) so I have been filling my weekends with plays, festivals, dinners, shopping and sightseeing. Last weekend was the Vagina Monologues, (which I had never seen and it was amazing) and this weekend a friend is starring in Macbeth in Myeongdong so we will spend our Saturday night getting a little culture. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom now so Sunday will be spent outside on Yeoi-do (do=island, this being a small one in the middle of the Han river, connected on the subway line) enjoying the trees and fresh air.. or nuclear fallout from Japan, whatever.

Destination: Lotus Lantern Festival (2010) - part 2



As promised, the Lotus Lantern Festival Parade - part one of the festival is here if you missed it. The Lady in Red and I found some seats on an underground market entrance; unless you're in the front row you'll need to be above the standing crowd.



Destination: Lotus Lantern Festival (2010) - part 1



As in years past, the 연등회 (Yeon Deung Hoe, or Lotus Lantern Festival) is an excellent, if overly touristy, chance to learn more about one of the world's oldest religions. A folk festival that has origins in the Goryeo period continued as the Lantern Celebration in the Joseon Dynasty (광등노리), and continues as a social festival to this day. The religion and reverence, however, seems to get lost amidst the hubbub of making paper lotus flowers, candles, and a hundred other things.

The event started in the afternoon, with dozens of tents offering arts, crafts, and information.

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