In every big city of Korea, Buddha’s birthday is celebrated during few days through religious ceremonies, parades, shows and many other things. Because Seoul is the capital, the most impressive celebrations are located there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend there so I went to the city of Daegu to see the lantern festival.
So, I spent the day in the city of Daegu which I really liked. At the evening, the festival started. It’s in a stadium, with a stage, a speaker and a chorus. Before going into the stadium I crossed the park leading to the stadium and there was some float for the parade. They were all really colorful and I loved them. Even if for some people this is a bit too much and kitsch, I though it was joyful.
To be up in the stadium you should arrive really early, if not you’ll just be in the middle of the crowd which still gives a beautiful view of the lantern show. Then started the waiting time… Indeed, in the stadium there is a stage with speakers, dancers, singers but most of the time it was just prayer in Korean so I couldn’t understand anything. Even though, it was not the worst waiting time of my life… people are wearing beautiful dresses, kids are all dressed up, there is already some beautiful lanterns…
When the sun got done, people got prepared with their lantern, started to put it out of their bag, take their lighters off and waited the signal to set fire!
When the first lanterns were all going in the sky together it is a spectacular show that can’t really be described. You really feel like you are in a movie and don’t really realize what’s happening. This is maybe my sentimental sight which is going out but everyone looked amazed by the lanterns floating in the sky.
During the launch of lanterns, someone gave us a lantern to try to make it fly. We were really excited to try (because we didn’t buy any there). However, don’t think it’s easy to set fire on a lantern and let it fly in the sky. It’s absolutely not! When you set fire you have to wait until the balloon get hot and can fly by itself. But if it’s a little bit windy (like it was this day) you may just burn it… Yes, it didn’t fly but burned miserably on the floor…
When all the lanterns are gone the parade started.On one hand I loved it because it was really lighted, colorful, so different from what I already saw. On the other hand, it was really short. Indeed, I don’t know if it’s Korean style or what but the parade which usually is quite slow to enjoy the moment, was really fast. People were not running but almost…
After the parade there were still a lot of activities, streets shows… but we had to go back to our city.
I have an amazing memory of the lantern festival and it’s something that always made me dream… I’m not ready to forget it! If you have the chance to see a lantern festival, doesn’t matter where it is, just go for it!
Published by Tina Meunier