“Peace of Mind, World of the Buddha” 2023 Yeondeunghoe Festival (2567 Buddhist Era)
Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date25 May 2023 Read32 Comment0
We are pleased to announce the successful completion of the 2567 Buddhist Era Yeondeunghoe (Lantern Lighting Festival), a celebration to praise the day the Buddha was born into the secular world and to pray for the Buddha realm overflowing with peace of mind to be manifested on Earth.
The Celebration Committee (chaired by Ven. Jinwoo) held the Yeondeunghoe on the afternoon of May 20 in Dongguk University Stadium with the theme “Peace of Mind, World of the Buddha.” Yeondeunghoe is an iconic Korean cultural festival that has been held since the Three Kingdoms period as a pre-celebratory event for the Buddha’s Birthday, during which all participants pray for a world of prosperity where discrimination does not exist. In addition, as a traditional cultural festival representing Korea, Yeondeunghoe was designated a national intangible cultural property of Korea in 2012, and in recognition of its universal value, UNESCO added it to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020. This year’s Yeondeunghoe was the first in several years to brighten up our city as the pandemic caused previous festivals to be either canceled or scaled back.
On this day, members of the Buddhist fourfold community held a Eoulim Madang (Cheer Rally) and Lotus Lantern Dharma Assembly at Dongguk University Stadium before departing from Heunginjimun Gate (Dongdaemun). Participants carried colorful lotus lanterns and continued in a long procession to Jogyesa Temple in Seoul via Jongno Street. The procession was led by large banners depicting the “Five Buddhas” and a traditional Korean marching band (chwitadae), followed by diverse colorful lanterns, including the Brahma Lantern, the Indra Lantern, the Four Heavenly Kings Lantern, and the Six Dharma Offering Lanterns. Also in attendance and carrying lanterns were Ven. Jinwoo (Chair of the Celebration Committee), representatives from the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders, and figures from political and business circles, in addition to thousands of Buddhists. Monastics from various countries, including China, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, were also invited to participate. Grand ornate lanterns in the shapes of lions, elephants, tigers, dragons, and cranes drew exclamations of surprise and applause from the onlookers. After the lotus lantern parade ended, a Daedong Hanmadang (post parade celebration) was held at Jonggak Intersection in Seoul. Participants in the lotus lantern procession and other spectators enjoyed celebratory performances by popular singers, Ganggang-sullae (traditional Korean circle dance play), diverse communal dances, and Daedong-nori (a communal street party).
On May 21, various booths to provide experiences in Buddhist culture, a traditional play/game field, and a performance stage were set up. Foreign tourists and citizens enjoyed various aspects of Buddhist culture, such as drawing traditional designs, making lotus lanterns, and experiencing temple food. In the afternoon, a mini lantern parade was held from Insa-dong to the road in front of Jogyesa Temple.
Yeondeunghoe website: www.llf.or.kr
Pictures are from http://www.ibulgyo.com/