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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[Festival/Press Article] Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations!



Buddha's Birthday, the birthday of the Siddhartha Gautama, is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism. In many east Asian countries, Buddha's Birth is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, and the day is an official holiday in Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea.





Legend has it that Buddha was born to a royal Hindu family in what is now known as Nepal and on the night he was conceived, his mother, Queen Maya dreamed a white elephant with six white tusks walked around her three times then hit her and disappeared into her right side. When she became pregnant, Queen Maya set off for her father's kingdom to give birth, as was the tradition. But Buddha was born along the journey in a garden beneath a sal tree. The lighting of a lotus-shaped lantern in Buddhism traditionally symbolizes a display of religious devotion to perform good deeds and lighting up the dark parts of the world that are filled with agony.





Although the exact date is unknown, scholars believe Buddha was born around 25 centuries ago and in Korea his birthday is traditionally celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month, early May on the solar calendar, and has been a national holiday since 1975. This year, the day will fall on May 6th. This day is called 석가탄신일 (Seokgatansinil), meaning "Buddha's birthday" or 부처님오신날 (Bucheonimosinnal) meaning "the day when the Buddha came". Lotus lanterns cover entire temples throughout the month, looking bright and beautiful against the city scenery.





“Yoodeung,” which means lantern lighting, is an important ritual in Buddhism that pays respect to Buddha. According to historical records, the first record of lighting lanterns appears during the Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon (1392-1910) dynasty. Like China, the Korean Lantern Festival was initially performed with festivity rather than with religious solemnity, and was aimed at celebrating royal events. On the day of Buddha's birth, many temples provide free meals and tea to all visitors. The breakfast and lunch provided are often Sanchae Bibimbap (spicy rice with mountain vegetables).
This past weekend, Daegu celebrated Yoo-deung on the Sincheon river, invited people to come and light a lantern. Lanterns floated through the river, casting a soft glow on the water, while large lanterns decorated the scenery. The festivities don’t end this weekend. Be on the lookout for the flying lantern festival, which will be held at the Duryu baseball field.



Daegu Poong-deung Festival (Flying Lantern Festival) 
Website: http://goo.gl/PiZEOI
Date & Time: April 26, 2014/ 7PM
Venue: Duryu Baseball Field(in Duryu Park)


*Application period for participating flying lantern program has  been over. If you already applied for this program, please come to the bon-bu-seok(
본부석) in the Duryu baseball field by 5PM and check your name to get a lantern.