Lotus Lantern Festival
Jogyesa, Jong-no, and Dongguk University (parade)
SUBWAY: Jonggak (Line 1), Anguk (Line 3), Dongguk University (Line 3)
Jogyesa, Seoul’s main Buddhist temple, and the surrounding streets are a hive of activity each spring for the Lotus Lantern Festival, which celebrates Buddha’s birthday. The festival usually takes place in May, but exact dates may vary according to the lunar calendar.
The mainly outdoor celebrations include religious ceremonies and activities such as paper lantern-making and tasting specialties from various Buddhist nations. The festival culminates in a massive evening procession down Jong-no, Seoul’s historic main thoroughfare, in which participants bear beautifully illuminated lanterns and floats depicting figures from Buddhist mythology or events from the Buddha’s life.
This is a spectacular occasion that should not be missed by anyone who happens to be visiting the city at the time.
© Jonathan Hopfner from Moon Seoul, 1st Edition