Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday at the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul



Lines of blue, pink, yellow, red, green and orange paper lanterns float above our heads. The echoing sound of a massive gong being slowly but repeatedly struck signals the beginning of the festivities. This is Seoul’s Lotus Lantern Festival, part of the week-long celebration of the Buddha’s birthday. Worshippers flock to the ornate temple with its three enormous golden Buddha statues, offering gifts of fresh fruit and fragrant flowers. The lanterns flutter in the light breeze, the names of Korea’s families dangling from them on a paper tag, with wishes for good luck and prosperity.


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