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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Buddha-Fest

How should a city celebrate the birth of the Buddha? By having a giant street party, obviously! I wasn't feeling well at all on Saturday morning and actually sent Sam and Jordan ahead, but after an hour I realized I was missing out on something that, in all likelihood, I would never get to experience again. So, I dragged myself out of bed and over to Insadong. Sam was sweet enough to give me his seat at the "lantern making for foreigners" event, opting instead to be our event photographer. He got some amazing shots of all of the goings on of the festival, so you should check out our picture page for all of the good stuff. Here are a few shots from the lantern making process:

First, you twist the paper to make the leaves.

Then, you paste the leaves onto the lantern.

Always maintaining intense focus!


Tada! Two hours later you have a beautiful paper lantern.


After crafting that beauty we headed over to Jogyesa temple, which was fully decked out with lanterns. Almost every lantern has a wish attached to it, for peace, for health, for prosperity. It was a really neat experience to have all of those hopes above our head, and it was beautiful to see:


Sam was a trooper hauling our lanterns around all day long!




The entire day it threatened to rain, and we were all pretty exhausted, so we parked ourselves in the "foreigner's" section of the parade seating and were able to have a front row seat for both the Hi Seoul parade and the Lotus Lantern Parade. The Lotus Lantern Parade was really the first time we have seen so many people being friendly and outgoing at one time that it made us feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside... even though it was drizzly, windy, and chilly outside!


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