Support our mission
 
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of specially made, brightly lit, statuesque images. The annual festival observes Buddha's birthday.
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of specially made, brightly lit, statuesque images. The annual festival observes Buddha's birthday. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of specially made, brightly lit, statuesque images. The annual festival observes Buddha's birthday.
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of specially made, brightly lit, statuesque images. The annual festival observes Buddha's birthday. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
Thousands of statuesque, glowing images of dragons, white elephants, lotus flowers and praying Buddhas made their way through downtown Seoul on May 16 during the 2010 Lotus Lantern Parade.
Thousands of statuesque, glowing images of dragons, white elephants, lotus flowers and praying Buddhas made their way through downtown Seoul on May 16 during the 2010 Lotus Lantern Parade. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
Two boys pay homage to Buddha in the 2010 Lotus Lantern Festival parade on May 16 in Seoul. The annual festival celebrates Buddha's birthday.
Two boys pay homage to Buddha in the 2010 Lotus Lantern Festival parade on May 16 in Seoul. The annual festival celebrates Buddha's birthday. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of glowing, statuesque images May 16. The annual festival commemorates Buddha's birthday.
The Lantern Parade, the highlight of the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, featured paraders carrying thousands of glowing, statuesque images May 16. The annual festival commemorates Buddha's birthday. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
Buddhists from around the globe made their way to Seoul to take part in the 2010 Lantern Parade during the May 14-16 Lotus Lantern Festival to celebrate Buddha's birthday.
Buddhists from around the globe made their way to Seoul to take part in the 2010 Lantern Parade during the May 14-16 Lotus Lantern Festival to celebrate Buddha's birthday. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)

South Korea’s celebration of Buddha’s birthday can be as memorable as it is extravagant.

Hundreds of thousands of residents joined Buddhist monks and other Buddhists from around the world for festivities May 14-16 in Seoul.

Known as the Lotus Lantern Festival, it is an opportunity to enjoy stage performances on Buddhist tradition and take in all the colorful and beautiful lanterns.

Among the highlights was an exhibition of traditional lanterns at Bongeunsa Temple in the Gangnam-gu area. According to a brochure, Buddhist lanterns take on more than 40 shapes — including various animals and fruits.

Jangchung Gymnasium was the setting for the Ground of Fraternization, which draws even more people into the festival to see traditional dancers and singers perform.

On the grounds of the Jogyesa Temple, visitors took in demonstrations on traditional Buddhist tea ceremonies and the proper way of bowing.

Visitors also got to paint pictures of Buddha and sit in meditation.

They also had the opportunity to make their own lanterns, some of which were good enough to be part of Sunday’s Lotus Lantern Parade, the weekend’s main attraction.

More than 50,000 participants carrying brightly lit lanterns with images of dragons, white elephants and lotus flowers lit up the streets of Seoul.

The parade, which made its way through Dongdaemun History and Culture Park before ending at the Jogyesa Temple, lasted several hours.

It was a luminous sight to behold.

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up