Happy Birthday Buddha!

Perhaps the biggest holiday in Korea may just be Buddha's Birthday. It's one of the few national holidays and has about a week's worth of events planned. From what I've seen holidays tend to be very family oriented and quiet, but not for Buddha. Buddha's birthday this year was May 11th, but Seoul put on a parade of parades on Sunday May 5 in the Insadong area. The parade lasted about 2.5 hours and it featured every imaginable and unimaginable type of lantern.

Before the parade on Sunday the Cheoggye Stream near City Hall had quite a few lavish lanterns set up that were all lit up at night. Also the temples and palaces around Seoul gave out lanterns to those who walked through their doors. Unfortunately I didn't get one, BUT they don't condense so it'd be hard to take home anyway. The day of the parade there was the Lotus Lantern Festival that took place down one of the main streets near Insadong where people could make their own lantern, watch performances, and eat all types of Korean food.

Basically it was one of the best celebrations I've seen here, and wish that they would go this all out for all of their holidays. Oddly enough, the closest I saw was when the westerners took over and celebrated St. Patrick's Day.

Anyway - enjoy the photo highlights: