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  • 2013 Lotus Lantern Festival

  • Culture & Tourism news SMG 5781


    The Lotus Lantern Festival will be held in many places for three days between May 10 and May 12 in celebration of Buddha’s birthday (May 17).

    This folk festival is a tradition started in the Goryeo Period (877 ~ 1394) and the Joseon Period (1392~1910) with a view to enlightening the darkness of mind, building a society filled with wisdom and benevolence, and praying for wishes to be fulfilled. Streets will be decorated with brightly lit lotus lanterns, and paraders will carry large-sized lanterns shaped like elephant, dragon, and tiger.

    People’s Cultural Festival

    People, including foreigners, are invited to take part in the merrymaking event, carrying large-sized lanterns shaped like baby monks or Buddha.

    Lanterns with Diverse Shapes

    Participants will carry lanterns they made themselves out of a wish to enlighten their minds as well as those of their neighbors in an effort to maintain the country’s long-kept tradition.

    Merry-making Event

    From Jogyesa Temple up to Ujeongguk-ro featuring 100-plus booths, the Lotus Lantern Festival is another merry-making event loved by the people as much as the Lotus Lantern Parade.


    festival venues

    Hour/date Venue
    Traditional Lantern Exhibition May 10 ~ May 19 Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple and Cheonggyecheon (Stream)
    Eoullim Madang Festival May 11, 4:30 PM ~ 6:00 PM Dongguk University
    Lotus Lantern Parade May 11, 7:00 PM~ 9:30 PM Jongno Street (Dongdaemun Gate~Jogyesa Temple)
    Hoehyang Hanmadang Festival May 11, 9:30 PM ~ 11:00 PM Jonggak Junction (Line 1 Jonggak Station)
    Traditional Culture Madang Festival May 12, Noon ~ 7:00 PM Near Jogyesa Temple
    Performance May 12, Noon ~ 6:00 PM At a specially made stage near Jogyesa Temple
    Lotus Lantern Play Festival May 12, 7:00 ~ 9:00 Insa-dong~ Jogyesa Temple
    Buddhist Service celebrating Buddha’s birthday May 17, 10:00 AM and 7:00 Jogyesa Temple and other temples nationwide


    How to get to the venue: Subway Line 3, Anguk Station Exit 6
    Subway Line 1, Jonggak Station, Exit 2
    Subway Line 5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit 2

    (Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/seoulkorea)