Happy Birthday Buddha!

May 15, 2008 lizzie

I’m not sure of his exact age, but I think that if you’re in your thousands of years, you deserve a birthday. We were lucky and had the last two mondays off school. The first was actually for children’s day and the second was for Buddha’s birthday. The birthday celebrations lasted a full week and last weekend some of us went to the Lotus Lantern Festival to kick off the celebrations.

 This obviously helps you get in the dharma spirit of the event.

 The first good karma thing to do is send a good wish and you tie it to this string. Is it like a birthday wish and if I tell you it won’t come true?

We then got busy making our own lotus flowers. How’s a girl supposed to feel at a lantern parade if she doesn’t have a lotus to swing?

Some of the other options were:

 Having little things put on you that have been on fire. No idea why.

 Trying to win a prize by doing the longest meditation. I know I’m a competitive person but this one really didn’t interest me.

 Painting your own buddha thereby bringing you good luck.

 The one I was most interested in (using a see saw to shoot other people in the air) was only a spectator sport.

 The whole street festival led up to the temple in a beautiful little area called Insadong. There was a ceiling of balloons all around the temple and this is what it would have looked like from above.

 And from underneath.

 Being a buddhist celebration meant that it was all vegetarian food – which wasn’t so bad even for a hardcore meat eater. This poster was apparently meant to inspire us with all the famous vegetarians there are in the world. Ghandi I know, but Jesus?

 As soon as the sun set, the real celebrations started. A huge parade of floats and lanterns. They all went in front of this enormous hanging of Buddha which was about 25 stories high.

Luckily, I was able to upgrade my Lotus!

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