Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Lantern Festival

Good day to you all!!

We spent the majority of this weekend in Seoul (it keeps sucking us in like flies). Buddha's birthday is in one week so the festivities were kicked off this weekend with a Lantern Festival. We met some friends on the bus to Seoul who were heading to the same spot so we went in search of it together.

First stop - Insadong - Seoul's tourism capital. We found the festival headquarters and signed up for some lantern making.

Shawna looks focused whilst building her Lotus Lantern like a seasoned professional.

Our finished products are below - Shawna's is pink and mine has the orange petals (and about five pounds of glue). They hang in our bedroom now and, I must say, look quite dashing!

Jason seems proud of his Lantern - as he should be!!

After our lanterns were completed, we walked down the closed off street to check out the festivities. A few of us picked up some North Korean icy-cold noodles from a street vendor. It's quite the popular dish in South Korea as well - especially in the sweltering summer heat.

We walked further down and found a temple that was filled-to-the-brim with lanterns. It was really amazing especially when we saw them lit up at dusk.

Hana, Dul, Set . . . Kimchi!!

Here you can see the festival in a broader scope and the infamous Jongno Tower in the background.

Cruising on the subway with our lanterns in hand.

We know about 30 out of the 60 million people that live in Korea and we ran into one of them in Seoul. As we were heading to the parade we happened to bump into our school's vice-principal. He wanted us to join him for some dinner and drinking after the parade (or, at least I think that's what he was getting at) but we had already paid for our bus tickets and it was Sunday so we opted out. I demanded that we get a photo together, however.

We kept on towards Jongno 3-Ga to see the parade. There were some lanterns along the route that gave us a taste of what was to come but nothing like the parade itself.

Next . . . the glorious Lantern Parade!!!!!!!!

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