Lotus Lantern Festival to be held in Seoul

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Apr 26, 2019 - 10:24
  • Updated : Apr 26, 2019 - 10:24

The annual festival commemorating Buddha’s Birthday, a national holiday in Korea, will be held in Jongno and at the temple Jogyesa in central Seoul on May 3-5.

The Lotus Lantern Festival, or Yeon Deung Hoe in Korean, unofficially kicked off with the lighting of lanterns on April 17 at Gwanghwamun Plaza, which saw lighting of a special lantern modeled after the national treasure Mireuksaji Stone Pagoda.

(Yeon Deung Hoe Preservation Committee)

(Yeon Deung Hoe Preservation Committee)

Designated Korea’s Intangible Cultural Property of Korea No. 122, the festival dates back 1,200 years to the Silla Dynasty (57 BC-935), which was the peak of Buddhism on the Korean Peninsula.

For this year’s event, the lantern parade along the streets of Jongno will take place from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on May 4, going from major eastern gate Dongdaemun to Jogyesa. On May 5, traditional cultural events will take place at the street in front of the temple from noon to 7 p.m.

Cultural performances will also take place on May 5 from noon to 6 p.m.

(Yeon Deung Hoe Preservation Committee)

(Yeon Deung Hoe Preservation Committee)

The streets of central Seoul near the Jogyesa and Bongeunsa temples and Cheonggye Stream will be lit with traditional lanterns from May 3 to May 12, and the Eoulim Madang, or Buddhist cheer rally, will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 4 at Dongguk University Stadium.

Visitors can attend the events by taking Subway Line No. 1 to Jonggak Station and walking south to the Cheonggye Stream, Subway Line No. 3 to Anguk Station and walking to Jogyesa, or Subway Line No. 9 to Bongeunsa Station to get to Bongeunsa.

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By Yoon Min-sik (