Monday, June 13, 2011

100,000 Lanterns Color the Street of Jongno

On May 7th, Lantern Parade in Dongguk University and Jongno Area

100,000 lanterns created magnificent scenery on Jongno street. On May 7th and 8th, about 30,000 Buddhists, citizens of Seoul, and foreign visitors gathered and enjoyed the lantern festival in Dongguk University and the street in front of the Wujeongguk building near Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

On May 7th, the lantern parade begun with an event called “Uhwulim-madang” at the Dongguk University’s main stadium. The lantern parade, which was the highlight of the festival, elevated the excitement when a stream of 10,000 lanterns flew through Dongguk University, Dongdaemun (East Gate), and Jongno Street. Many lanterns in the images of the Dharma protectors, elephants, dragons, Geobukseon (Korean Turtle Ship), helicopter and other impressive images led the parade and about 50,000 Buddhists with individually made lanterns followed the parade to revisit the true meaning of the Buddha’s birthday. However, a couple of controversial lanterns (due to its copy right issues), ‘Pororodeung’ and ‘Thomas the train’, were regretfully not showcased in this parade. After the parade, a Buddhist memorial at Jonggak street unified approximately 300,000 Buddhists, citizens of Seoul, and foreign visitors beyond religion and race for a grand celebration.

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