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Celebration of 2013 Vesak: Seokga-tap Lantern Brightens the Gwanghwa-mun Area
A lantern in a shape of Korea’s infamous Seokga-tap (Sakyamuni Stone Pagoda) will be lit this coming April 23rd to celebrate 2013 Vesak Celebration (Buddha’s Birthday Ceremony).
Chairman of the Lotus Lantern Festival Preservation Committee, the Most Ven. Jaseung, will hold a lighting ceremony in front of the Gwanghwa-mun Gate (near Sejong Center for the Performing Arts) starting 7 PM. But, this year’s celebration has somehow of a different feel, as the ceremony has been relocated from Seoul City Hall Square to Gwangha-mun area, a stumping ground for Seoul city’s most cultured population.
The lantern was inspired by Bulguk-sa Temple’s Seokga-tap pagoda, designated as Korean National Treasure 21. The pagoda is said to have been created from the chapter of “the Emergence of the Treasure Tower” in the Lotus Sutra, and gained even more interest due to the recent discovery of an amazing sarira reliquary.
Together with this year’s lantern lighting ceremony to celebrate the Vesak, over fifty thousand street lanterns will decorate the Jong-no area.
Ven. Jihyen (Director from the Department of General Affairs, Jogye Order) from the Celebration Committee for Buddha’s Birthday states, “The pagoda was established during Unified Silla period as a symbol of national unity. Preparations for this year’s celebration also involved prayers for peace in Korean peninsula,“ and added “We hope this will be an opportunity for everyone to think back on Buddha’s teachings, that we are must respect all lives and be one in a community of peace and harmony.”
Over two thousand Buddhists are expected to gather and celebrate this most auspicious ceremony, lead by the Most Ven Jaseung and Buddhist leaders from all different lineages.
The original article can be viewed at http://www.ibulgyo.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=125604