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Traditional Games Promote Lotus Lantern Festival
Hoginoli is a traditional Buddhist game originating from Goryeo Dynasty, typically carried out by children a few days before the Buddha’s Birthday to collect donations and create lotus lanterns. Hoisting flags with origami work or making drums with fish skin, children assembled and went around various neighborhoods, making racket of noise. This is how the children of olden days used to make their pocket money to craft their own lanterns. Such activity had more than religious significance but was a traditional Korean custom, a great reason for celebration for all citizens.
Hoginoli game was reenacted near the vicinity of Insadong in Seoul, as the annual Buddha’s Birthday Celebration approaches. Lotus Lantern Festival Committee, where the festival is an official Intangible National Cultural Heritage 122, joined hands with KYBA (Korean Youth Buddhist Association) to bring great laughter and happiness to the citizens on April 5.
Over seventy participants have gathered from various children’s temple programs including that of Bulkwangsa, Doseonsa, Heungguksa, Sorimsa, Bongeunsa temple, and Vairocana International Seon Center for Children. Moreover, over one hundred volunteers and teachers, such as Global Supporters, Lotus Lantern Festival Volunteers, etc also joined in on the fun.
The program began with Korean farmer’s band playing cheerful tunes, while specially selected teams of children put their best features forward in colorful traditional Korean customs and went around over 80 different retail stores around Insadong area. The retail owners from Insadong passed on their wish list or donations to these smiling youths, who wished for prosperity of the stores. All those who participated in the game sent out best wishes for each other and with a joyful smile.
The Hoginolli game played an invaluable role in promoting the upcoming Lotus Lantern Festival which will kick off on April 26, 2014. Everyone is welcome to Lotus Lantern Festival, regardless of difference in religion, age, race, or culture.