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Buddha's Birthday Blog Extravaganza! (Part 1)

it's a two-parter!

Sometimes I forget I'm in Asia.

No, really. I've grown so accustomed to being around and working with foreigners, having access to imported foreign foods (can we say cheese?), and being able to get around Korea with only a basic knowledge of Hangul and the Korean language, that I begin to overlook the fact that I am a minority, that this country's history is about eleventy billion times longer than America's, and that Buddhism is actually widely practiced.

Last night, my obliviousness to Asian culture was thankfully denied at the Buddha's Birthday celebration in Jongno. Jongno-Gu is full of really cool attractions, like Gyeongbukgung, Insadong (my favorite!), and Jogyesa. There was lotus-making, a street festival and to top it off, a big 2.5 hour parade down the main drag.

Then I remembered: hey! I'm in Korea!
Note: you are about to see lots of lotus flowers. The lotus flower is a very auspicious symbol in Buddhism. According to several sources, it is a symbol for purity of the soul, resurrection in a material world. The layman description is here.

People

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Making lotus flowers. From children to the elderly, everybody was crowded around to make some.

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Traditional dancers in the parade.

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Lotus ladies.

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Traditional soldier. Or I suppose.

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Buddhist monks....

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More monks...

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Hanbok ladies.

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Children in the parade.

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Children carrying lotuses.

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More lotuses.

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Dancer with....lotuses!

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Neo-traditional hanbok.

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Lots of lanterns.

To be continued with floats...

Posted by lrbergen 20:20 Archived in South Korea Tagged tourist_sites

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