While Nepal will be celebrating Buddha Jayanti, birthday of Lord Gautam Buddha, next week on May 10th; S. Korea celebrated it on May 3rd this week. The date that varies by region, falls on every eighth day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar in S. Korea along with some of the other Asian countries. With an estimated total of ten million worshipers, or roughly 20 percent of the Korean population; Buddhism that was introduced to Korea more than 1600 years ago, has become a major religion in the country.
Buddha’s Birthday, also known as Seokga Tanshin-il in Korean, is celebrated by visiting nearby temples, giving an offering, or praying for wishes to come true; while engaging in the Buddha bathing ceremony that involves pouring water with a ladle over a statue of Buddha as a baby.
Seoul’s streets were lit by delicately crafted lanterns as a celebration. See the pictures.