Yesterday, May 12, was a national holiday (we had a 3-day weekend again!). We celebrated Buddha’s 2552nd birthday, based on the lunar calendar so the date changes every year. Last year, it fell on May 24 (also my son’s birthday). In Seoul, there’s the Lotus Lantern Parade held on a Sunday before the actual holiday. I didn’t see it this year since we were in the province when it was held on May 4th.
You know that Buddha’s birthday is coming when you see colorful lanterns adorning the roads to Buddhist temples. Jongro (the main avenue in downtown Seoul) for one had been decorated weeks before the holiday. There were also colorful lanterns of various shapes and sizes at the Cheonggye stream (Cheonggyecheon), that we visited last Saturday night.
How did we celebrate Buddha’s birthday? We had lunch with my husband’s brothers and their families. We didn’t go to a temple since we were really tired from a trip to Everland on Sunday. We just watched the specials on Buddhism and Buddha on KBS 1.