Every May, to celebrate Buddha's birthday, Samgwangsa Temple in Busan turns into a must-visit destination. Thousands of colored lanterns are strung up as CNN named Samgwangsa Temple one of the 50 most beautiful places to visit in Korea specifically because of the festival. The lanterns carry a symbolic meaning and many of them are in the shape of lotus flowers, a Buddhism motif.
As Visit Korea states, “According to Buddhist beliefs, lanterns symbolize wisdom in that they bring light to the world. ‘Yeondeung,' which means lantern lighting, is an important ritual in Buddhism that pays respect to Buddha. The lantern lighting began in Korea during the Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon (1392-1910) Dynasties and has been preserved through rituals such as the lotus lantern service and the lotus lantern parade.
“The modern day Lotus Lantern Festival is designed to bring local and international visitors together through an array of festive programs. This year’s event offers visitors the chance to make their own lantern, taste Buddhist temple dishes, produce rubbings of various Buddhist designs, and much more.”
Insung Jeon took these beautiful photos of the lantern festival for all to enjoy. Notice the rows and rows of color.
Insung Jeon: Flickr