South Korea’s capital Seoul marks the Buddha’s birthday with the annual Lantern Festival (Yeon Deung Hoe) on May 12.
Named among the world’s best 10 festivals in 2018 by Travel Magazine, this 1,200-year-old event will feature a parade with more than 100,000 floating lanterns from the Dongdaemun neighbourhood along Jongno street, all the way to Jogyesa Temple.
As the lantern parade finishes at the Jonggak intersection, people will gather for the post-parade closing ceremony called Hoehyang Hanmadang, where they will all enjoy the traditional Korean circle dance known as ganggangsulae.
The following day, another cultural event will take place at Jogyesa Temple. More than 100 booths will provide visitors a chance to experience Korea’s traditional culture, such as making lotus flowers, traditional lanterns and ceramics, and drawing Buddhist patterns and folk paintings.
The temple also offers meditation programmes and traditional performances as well as local delicacies. Visitors are welcome to take part in the lantern-making contest.
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