Buddha’s Birthday and Lantern Awesomeness
Parades are cool. Lantern parades are even better. Every year around Buddha’s birthday cities all over South Korea become inundated with paper lanterns. We took the day to visit the capital. Seoul was like a Christmas tree and the lanterns were its ornaments.
While paper lanterns don the city of Seoul, the real reason to visit Korea during Buddha’s birthday is for the lantern parade. As soon as the sun goes down, the people of Seoul gather along the downtown streets to see a unique experience: massive paper lantern floats in all shapes and sizes lit up with the creativity of Korean traditional artists.
Fortunately for us, Koreans tend to be last-minute about their plans, so we were able to get nice government provided chairs right on the street itself. I turned up my ISO and attached my tripod for steady shots and began firing.
As the parade neared its end, parade walkers began to give away their lanterns to people along the street. It reminded me of parades as a kid when the clowns would toss candy. Smiling and waving was enough to build up a generous stash of lanterns: