South Korea

May 8th, 2022. Buddha’s Birthday

Buddha's Birthday

A couple of days ago I showed you lanterns from the Bongeunsa Temple. And I hope you liked it. Today I want to tell you about Buddha’s birthday, and show you the temple on that 🙂 

May 8th, 2022. Buddha’s Birthday

Buddha's Birthday

Today is May 8th, and today is Buddha’s Birthday. Each year the date is different because it determines by the Lunar Calendar. But the interesting fact is that this year Buddha’s birthday is on the same day as Parent’s Day in Korea. And, in many other countries, today is Mother’s Day! So, I want to wish all the best to all parents and mothers in the world! Please, be healthy, be happy, and be with us!

I didn’t plan to write that post, but many people asked me about Buddha’s birthday, and why people celebrate it on such large scales.

I already showed you lanterns in the Bongensa temple, but I still didn’t edit the video from the Lantern parade. But I will show you a couple of videos from the Lantern concert. 

You can find more videos on the playlist. And I will try to finish the video from the Lantern Parade as soon as possible.

About the holiday

Buddha’s Birthday is an official holiday that was established to commemorate the birth of Sakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. It is the 8th day of the 4th lunar month. Since it is based on the lunar calendar, the date of the Gregorian calendar changes every year depending on whether there is a leap month or the date of the first day of the lunar calendar. It usually comes in May, but sometimes in April.

Buddha's Birthday

Until 2017, it was officially called Buddha’s Birthday in South Korea. But today they call it The day when Buddha came.

Lantern Festival

Every year in Korea we have a Buddhist festival of lighting lanterns on Buddha’s birthday. It is an important intangible cultural asset No.122 as a long-standing tradition from the time of King Gyeongmun of the Silla dynasty to the present. And it means that this event is a long-standing traditional culture that has continued for nearly 1200 years.

It was originally a Buddhist event. But now it has become a festival enjoyed by everyone regardless of religion, gender, or nationality. To put it figuratively, it is similar to the case of the American Thanksgiving Day Parade, which originally started as a Protestant event, but has now become the largest event in the United States.

Buddha's Birthday

The Lotus Lantern Festival is an event where all people celebrate the birth of the Buddha, who pursued a wise life to make a better world and light the lantern with prayers. Yeondeung (lantern) means “lighting the lamp,” and it is lighted with a wish for the world to become brighter and happier by the light of wisdom that the world is now illuminating as well as the mind darkened by greed and obsession.

A legend of the lantern

At the time of Buddha in India, a poor woman made an offering by lighting a small lamp along the way to the Buddha with her vows and sincerity. Even in the dark of the night, even when the wind blows and all the lights go out, she says, only this woman’s lamp did not go out. It is the tale of the poor. Like this woman’s lantern offering, the lotus lantern lights with sincerity, with a vow to brighten everyone’s hearts and the world. It can be said that the spirit of the lantern is not extinguished no matter how difficult the situation.

Celebration

Today there was a special ceremony in each Buddhist temple in Korea. I am not Buddhist, but I really like that holiday. I like the atmosphere. So, I went to Bongeunsa temple which is one of the oldest temples in Seoul and is located close to my place. 

I didn’t expect that it will be so crowded. I haven’t seen so many people for a long time. But, another important thing that happened is that I met a very important man! Guess who? A new South Korean president. The inauguration ceremony will be on May 10th.

Now I think I am super lucky! :))

Buddha's Birthday

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