Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival

I don’t want to freak you guys out or anything, but I’m about to post about something I did…wait for it…this weekend. And also last year. But most recently this weekend. A group of us went to the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, which celebrates Buddha’s birthday. During the day they have cultural events. I have no idea what that means because aside from the fact that it’s very vague, due to a series of unfortunate events I didn’t make it to that portion either year. I did, however, make it to the lantern parade both years. The parade this year was a little lacking compared to last year’s. In light of the recent ferry tragedy they shortened the duration which was better for my feet, but worse in terms of seeing shiny, pretty things. Plus, there was only one fire breathing dragon lantern this year. And going back through photos from last year, almost all of the lantern floats were the same. Get it together, Seoul. I mean, people have expectations. This year I was really looking forward to the after party because according to the website “flowers rain from the sky.” I mean, who doesn’t want to see that? Once the parade ended, we promptly walked over to the giant stage to be greeted by some very loud music that was really not our jam. So we decided to get dinner and come back for the flowers falling from the heavens. Unfortunately dinner ran long and the party ran short. No flower precipitation for me. I did, however, score a hand held lantern that someone left by the subway entrance. I was growing concerned that I might have to steal one from a kid or an old lady. We then made our way to the nearby temple to take photos of it all lit up at night. We arrived precisely as they closed. So that was special. Our next plan was to go down to the Cheonggycheon (a pretty, long river in Seoul) to have a couple brewskies and admire the hanging lanterns. We asked our Korean friend how to get there from the temple. Against my better judgement, we hopped on the subway and ended up at Dongdaemun. A 30 minute walk from where we needed to be (which was, incidentally, about where we started). All in all, it was a nice night and I’m glad I got to bring Joe this year, but I’m also glad I went the first year because it was way better. If you want to see more pics, check out my Tumblr.

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