Today begins a weeklong celebration in Korea–the Lotus Lantern Festival, which celebrates Buddha’s birthday.
Celebration of the Lotus Lantern Festival dates back to at least the Goryeo (Koryo) Dynasty, which dated from 918-1392 AD. Traditional celebrations included the lotus lantern lighting and a parade.
The Korea Tourism site says that today’s Lotus Lantern Festival brings multiracial, multicultural crowds together for an array of festive programs. At the 2010 festival visitors will get to make a lantern themselves, taste temple dishes, produce rubbed copies, and more. The highlight of the festival, the lantern parade, is set for May 16. The parade will feature more than 100,000 illuminated lotus flowers, elephants, dragons, and other types of lanterns swaying along Jongno Street.
To learn more about the festival, you can visit the officiate Lotus Lantern Festival Web site at www.llf.or.kr/eng/.
You can also find more information on the following to Web sites: the official Korea Tourism site, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?gotoPage=1&cid=1002416&out_service=, and the Life in Korea site, www.lifeinkorea.com/culture/festivals/festivals.cfm?Subject=Sawolchopail.