Lotus Lantern Festival

Lotus Lantern Festival
Photo: llf.or.kr
The Lotus Lantern Festival (Yeon Deung Hoe) is an annual festival held in Seoul, South Korea. It was created to honor the birthday of Buddha (Chopail) which is a public holiday in Korea. The holiday falls on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Korean lunisolar calendar.

The Lotus Lantern Festival is an ancient tradition that originated over 1,200 hours ago. The traditional festival was proclaimed South Korea’s Intangible Cultural Property in 2012. The celebration of Buddha’s birthday lasts for an entire month during which Buddhist temples in Seoul are covered with beautiful lotus lanterns. The main highlights of the Yeon Deung Hoe festival take place during the weekend before the birthday of Buddha.

Most festival events take place near the temples of Jogyesa and Bongeunsa in downtown Seoul. They include spectacular parades, exhibitions, performances, interactive events and activities, and more. Most events are family-oriented and designed for a wide audience of all ages and backgrounds, offering an unforgettable spiritual and cultural experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

What exactly does Seoul’s Lotus Lantern Festival have to offer? During the entire festival and beyond, you can attend a spectacular exhibition of traditional lanterns in all shapes and colors made from hanji, traditional handmade Korean paper. Other events and activities you shouldn’t miss include a Buddhist cheer rally, traditional cultural events, and Korean folk performances. They take place along Jongno street throughout the entire duration of the festival.

The main highlight of the Yeon Deung Hoe festival is the Lantern Parade featuring thousands of handheld lanterns and beautifully decorated lantern floats. The parade kicks off around 7 pm on a Saturday and marches along Jongno street from Dongdaemun Gate to Jogyesa Temple. Featuring thousands of people clad in traditional Korean clothing (hanbok) and carrying lanterns, the procession becomes a river of light flowing through the heart of metropolitan Seoul. The parade is followed by a post-parade celebration that brings together people of different nationalities, genders, ethnicities and religions.

Lotus Lantern Festival




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