Lanterns at Jogyesa Temple: Happy Birthday, Buddha!

Jogyesa

Last week, on the 3rd of May, was a national holiday for Buddha’s birthday. Known as Seokgatansinil 석가 탄신일 or Bucheonim Osinal 부처님 오신 날 (the day that Buddha came) in Korean, it’s a big deal here in Korea where Buddhism is the largest religious group. Celebrations normally last around a week, and begin before the big day, including the Lotus Lantern Festival held in Seoul, and other events across the country. The entire centre of Seoul was decked out in lanterns for the week before Buddha’s birthday, and the weekend prior to the 3rd saw a large lantern parade weave through the city centre and end up at Jogyesa Temple.

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa 조계사 is the centre of Korean Buddhism. It is the head temple for the district, and in fact the entire country, for the Jogye order of Buddism. Because of this, Jogyesa (with ‘Jogye’조계 being the order of Buddhism and ‘sa’ 사 meaning ‘temple’) plays a central role in the celebrations for Buddha’s birthday. On the 3rd of May they saw a LOT of visitors, both for prayer and tourism, and when I arrived they were packing down from a large event of prayer and celebration.

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa was decked out in lanterns for Buddha’s birthday!

Because I’m a bad tourist, I didn’t make it in time for the event itself, but I was pleased to arrive to all the lanterns intact and on display. They were just starting to dismantle the bright, colourful canopies of lights as I was walking around, so I had made it just in time! There were a wide array of lanterns to see, and I even got to see some of the creations that had been shown in the Yeondeunghoe parade the Saturday earlier.

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

These are just a few of the many photos I took while I was there. I’m sure you can imagine, I was very snap happy. And, really, who wouldn’t be with a place this photogenic?!

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa

You can read more about Jogyesa Temple on the official Korea tourism website.

All photos were taken by me. Please ask for permission to use them.

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9 Comments

  1. 09/05/2017 / 3:06 am

    I was hoping to see more of this festival when you spoke about it in your previous post and boy oh boy I am not disappointed… these photos are literally incredible!!! Imagine how long people spent making and putting up all those lanterns, they’re truly stunning.

    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

    • hannahinternational
      10/05/2017 / 9:59 am

      Oh I hate to imagine! There’s still a lot hanging along some main roads in the city centre, so it’s taking a helluva long time to take them all down too!

  2. 10/05/2017 / 7:33 am

    wow this looks beautiful! Sounds like you had a lovely time xx

    • hannahinternational
      10/05/2017 / 10:00 am

      Thanks! Yeah it’s beautiful, really. I just wish I had someone to go with! Sometimes it can be difficult in this city to do things alone.

  3. 14/05/2017 / 3:32 am

    Literally the most beautiful photos! You must be so enjoying it out there. They’re breath taking. Now I want to explore Korea more than ever!

    • hannahinternational
      15/05/2017 / 2:31 pm

      Ah thank you! I try, hahaha.
      It’s actually an emoticon from a popular Korean messenger app called KakaoTalk – basically the Korean version of Whatsapp. They have a series of characters, with names and personalities, and people love them a lot. They even have several shops and a HUGE range of merchandise available. Pretty fascinating!

  4. 19/05/2017 / 8:00 pm

    Once again – I am BLOWN AWAY by your photography. Seoul looks like such a vibrant place to explore – I’m seriously tempted to head out there and track you down for the best eaterys and attractions.

    Are you selling these images anywhere? They’re seriously too good not to.

    H xx

    • hannahinternational
      21/05/2017 / 12:42 pm

      I’m not selling them, no. I wouldn’t even know how to go about it! Any tips?! xx

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