Buddha’s Birthday

I’m a sucker for a good parade. One of my favorite areas in Seoul is Insadong. It’s a huge tourist spot for all things cultural and historical, but I still find it rather entrancing. On any given day, you could take up hours wandering about all the little shops, cafes, and  winding alleys. Buddha’s Birthday makes Insadong just that much more exciting.

Buddha’s birthday, an official public holiday in South Korea, has a different date each year. If you are proficient in navigating the Chinese lunar calendar, it always falls on the eighth day of the fourth month. Regardless of the actual date, each year there is a beautiful lantern display accompanied by a fun parade. You can see this at Jogyesa Temple, right in the heart of Insadong. Going there for Buddha’s birthday is a real treat because of the decorations. This is also where the parade, known as Lotus Lantern Parade, starts.

A variety of some of the lanterns that adorned Jogyesa Temple.

Some of the parade floats. The dragon was my favorite, and you can see why below.

Parade participants. The children were absolutely adorable!


The best part, in my opinion, was this dragon moving up and down the streets.

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