May 19, 2010

Buddha's Birthday

We celebrated Buddha's Birthday by attending a Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul. It was such a fantastic day! We started the day off by making our own lanterns. Believe or not I won a prize for the 'least' beautiful lantern...How rude!!! I didn't mind winning this title as I got a cute mirror and comb out of it! Andrea and Mary got a prize for the most colourful lantern. (Grrrrr...!) David’s, Brian's and Keith's lantern didn't win anything!!!

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After an intense few hours making our lanterns, we explored the rest of the festival. A lot was happening. There was a Buddhist cultural street fair. The streets were decorated with all different kinds of traditional and modern lanterns. There was a wide range of Buddhist music being played and people were dressed in diverse religious traditional clothing. Also there were a variety of foods from all over Asia available. YUM YUM!!!

In the early evening there was a spectacular parade. The lanterns range from small hand-held lotus shapes to much larger lights carried by groups and giant lantern floats in the shape of tigers, dragons, elephants and Buddha’s. The parade continued into the last hours. David and I didn't stay until the end. We headed home with our lanterns and hung them up immediately.