석가탄신일: Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday

Seoul Searching

Once again, I headed out to 조계사 (Jogyesa) this year to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. In Korean, this day is called 석가탄신일 (Seokga Tansinil), meaning “Buddha’s birthday” or 부처님 오신 날 (Bucheonim Osin Nal) meaning “the day when the Buddha came.” In China and Korea, it is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year, but it typically lands in April or May. This year, it fell on Monday, May 25th.Elephant Baby Buddha LanternsWhen you live in Korea, it is always quite apparent when this holiday is coming up, as the streets, temples and even rivers are decorated with beautiful colorful paper lantern for the entire month. Typically, as the day draws closer, more decorations are displayed and all sorts of parades and festivals are held, such as the famous Lotus Lantern Festival.Kakao TalkDogeDrums

Two years ago, I visited the temple during…

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