Sunday was the third day of the Lotus Lantern Festival, and that day is all about cultural experiences. The street in front of Jogyesa Temple is turned into a street fair dedicated to all things Buddhism. Over 100 different booths are set up enabling participants to learn many different things.
Examples: different forms of Buddhism in different countries.
Try different tasty Buddhist foods, like Mongolian cookies and rice dishes:
There are also many opportunities to try a wide variety of crafts. There are more crafts than one can do in one day. Participants can make paper lotus flowers. They can craft a bracelet of Buddhist prayer beads. You can make Korean paper or lotus shaped candles. You can decorate masks or make clay objects.
But my absolutely favorite activity at this festival was making a full size paper lotus lantern. The festival as an area marked off for foreigners to make lotus lanterns.
The activity is completely free and you are given all the materials you need to make a lotus lantern in a variety of colors. Some people made unicolor lanterns that resembled a real life lotus flower. And other lanterns were a rainbow of bright colors. Making a lantern is rather time consuming, but pleasantly contemplative.
It’s actually a bit more involved than you might think having to twist and glue every sheet of paper onto the lantern.
But it’s all worth it at the end when you have your very own colorful lotus lantern to take home with you.
Overall the Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival is one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. The setting in Jogyesa Temple, decked out with thousands of colorful lotus lanterns is beautiful. The parade is quite a sight to behold. And the cultural experiences day is an enjoyable learning experience.