Light rises from Korea - Korea Tourism Organization

Light rises from Korea

Depending on lunar calendar, the end of April and the beginning of May mark an important period for Korean people to celebrate as a traditional milestone for hundreds of years: a celebration for spiritual enlightenment.

Lotus Lantern Festival (1300 years old) and Buddha’s Birthday (3000 years old) are two important manifestations of this enlightenment in which lights, sounds, and images offer a joyous & friendly environment that evoke positive feelings in the hearts of thousands of people attending.

For this reason, clear out your agenda and spare this fabulous time for you and your beloved ones to travel for enlightenment.

  Lotus Lantern Festival (3 May – 5 May 2019)

Yeon Deung Hoe Festival has been originated in Silla era, more than 1300 years ago. As a festival with a history of a thousand years that wish the world happiness and well-being. By lighting lanterns at the Yeon Deung Hoe Festival, participants can brighten their own hearts as well as the world. Although the festival program this year takes place between May 3-5, traditional lanterns will be displayed until the birthday of Buddha.

Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns (3-12 May)
This exhibition let you absorb the very spirit of the lanterns. Lanterns’ soft lights convey the aspirations and careful attention to detail of their creators. There are three main spots Jogye-sa, Bongeun-sa, and Cheonggyecheon.

Buddhist Cheer Rally (4 May)
Lantern parade participants in hanbok (traditional Korean costumes) rally together in Dongguk University Stadium as they laugh and dance before the lotus lantern parade begins.

Lantern Parade (4 May) 
Along with Jongno Street, a hundred of thousand Lotus Lanterns brighten the heart of Seoul. Handheld lanterns forming a brilliant ocean of light is the festival's main attraction.

Post-Parade celebration (4 May)
Following the parade, people come together at the Jonggak Intersection to end the festivities in a spirit that make the festival real: dancing and laughing hand in hand.

Traditional Cultural Events (5 May)
IF you want to experience traditional Buddhist arts & culture a hundred exhibits will line the street in front of Jogye-sa Temple. Yhou may visit this street where various booths to make lotus lanterns, create Buddhist art, try temple food take place.

Final Celebration (5 May)
The street in front of Jogye-sa Temple through Insa-dong area to Gongpyung intersection is home of the grand finale of the festival which features a mini lantern parade accompanied by the singing and dancing.

Please click here for more info.

  Buddha’s Birthday (12 May 2019)

The birthday of Buddha, founder of Buddhism, has been celebrated for 3000 years; and is also known as 'Seokga tansinil' in Korea. The holiday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month according the Chinese lunar calendar. This year’s celebrations will be held in 12 May 2019 -a day that is marked with parades, lantern festivals, and open temples. As Buddha is a prominent figure for Koreans, you will find lots of activities that would give you both joyful moments and spiritual insights.

Here are some suggestions:
Temples are all open and host some events to honor the memory of Buddha. Jogye-sa Temple in Seoul is the most known one where some of the main celebrations take place. As lanterns and lights that cover the sky, you can visit a temple and can be offered free tea and bibimbap (a traditional meal of rice & vegetables).

Undoubtably, the heart of celebrations for Buddha’s Birthday in Korea is Seoul. There are several places for celebrations to feel the joy. Beside the temples, between Tapgol Park and Jogyesa a big parade can be seen.

While lotus lantern parade takes place a week prior to Buddha’s birthday, there may be seen other parades in Seoul and in other cities. The parades for Buddha’s Birthday are ornate with dancers, music, floats, and dragons.

Buddha’s Birthday also host some folk performances in the streets of Korea’s major cities. during Buddha’s Birthday. Generally centered around Buddhist ideas and Korean history, these performances will be appreciated by your entire family.