Monday, May 9, 2011

Lantern festival to light up world for harmony

Making and hanging lotus lanterns is one of the oldest Buddhist traditions, which continues until today. Yeondeunghoe is a traditional Korean folk festival that goes back to the Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-935 A.D.). It was inherited as the Lotus Lantern Assembly in Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) and continued as the Lantern Celebration (Gwandeung-nori) during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

For the welfare of the community and fulfillment of personal wishes, the Lotus Lantern Festival will be held May 6-8 just ahead of Buddha’s Birthday which falls on May 10 this year. Buddha’s Birthday is the biggest day of the year as Buddhists celebrate by attending the Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Service at temples.

More than 100,000 colorful lanterns in various shapes such as dragons, elephants, phoenixes, drums, turtles and lotuses decorate the main streets nationwide along with diverse programs and activities.

The lanterns are symbols of light, wisdom and compassion that dispel the dark and suffering of the world. Through the lotus lanterns, the dark become bright as Buddhists believe that the light brings enlightenment to those who are in pain and are lost.

Read more at Buddhist Channel.

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