Travel Photo Thursday — May 23, 2013 — Korea’s Buddha Birthday Lanterns

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 29 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday. Pull up that comfy armchair, and enjoy your virtual world tour. Anybody who had been around Travel Photo Thursday for a while knows that I host my photos at Flickr. Some of you may also know that Flickr rolled out a new interface this week. That has created some challenges, with the major one being where to find the HTML code needed to post my photos here. Finally, after at least two hours of searching through help pages and user forums I found the answer! Needless to say, this isn’t exactly what I had planned for this week. Buddha’s Birthday has come and gone. I wasn’t able to take part in the festivities this year. However, it is a celebration that I adore, so today I’m sharing with you some favorite lantern shots from past Buddha celebrations.


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Lantern Magic at Seoul’s Bongeunsa Temple.

Lantern Magic


I love this “lantern tree” at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul.


Lotus Lanterns 2008


The “fish-eye” produces a fun,different perspective. (Seoul’s Bongeunsa Temple)


Bongeunsa Temple


Buddha's Birthday 2008


Nammireeuksa Temple…outside of Seoul…




Travelers Tip

Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated annually, across the peninsula in May or early June. The date varies from year to year, so best to check with Korea Tourism.
The main festivities happen in Seoul, and usually a week before the actual day. You can experience a temple meal on Buddha’s birthday (a holiday here), at any temple in Korea. If you have the opportunity, don’t miss it. The temple meal is a wonderful opportunity to experience temple life here in Korea.




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  1. I love the lanterns! We had a memorably evening in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago, during the mooncake and lantern festival. What a wonderful evening it was with all the colour and sounds, and people, and dancing, and cultural goings on.
    I love the effect your fisheys has produced.
    Have a wonderful week and thankyou for hosting Travel Photo Thursday.

    • Your welcome, Jill! There are so many opportunities in Asia to enjoy lanterns.

  2. These lanterns are so colorful and beautiful! I haven’t seen so many like these before in real life. My favorites have to be the lantern tree and your fish eye ones. How neat!

  3. I so so love the lantern tree at Joyyesa Temple. I can’t stop staring at it. I’d love to hang it on my wall.

    • Thanks, Marisol. It would be pretty hanging on a wall somewhere!

  4. Glorious shots Nancie. Your second one looks surreal.Sounds like a fantastic time to visit Korea.
    I hate it when some of the social sharing platforms change their look/format…I still don’t like the new Stumble Upon but I don’t use Flickr very much so one less headache there.

    • Agree, Leigh. I have pretty much given up on SU. Definitely a pity, because it was easy to get good traffic from there.

  5. What color and what designs these lanterns have! Beautiful photos. Nancie, I just have to thank you for TPT! It has become such a part of my life; I look forward to it and getting together with friends here; I miss it when I travel and don’t have the time to comment on everyone’s posts. Thank you for creating and continuing such a special project.

    • Thanks so much, Jackie! We do have a great group going here 🙂

  6. The first photo is indeed… magic (^_^) I love lanterns, great photo collection.

    • Thank you! Isn’t it amazing how something so simple can be so beautiful?

  7. I adore the lantern tree. What a pleasure it must have been to actually be under it. The colours are spectacular.

  8. The tree is my favourite shot, and now I know that Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated!

  9. I’m more and more intrigued with all these colours in Korea.

  10. I love those fisheye shots!

    Having trouble with linking again – we’ll see if Ican get it to work.

  11. Your fantastic photos are an excellent way to start my day. Love all the colors, patterns & interesting perspectives.

    • Thanks, Cathy! It’s nice to be responsible for starting someone’s day on a pleasant note!

  12. Hey, Nancie–I like your new head shot, too.
    The lantern pictures are just amazing. They really make artful pictures don’t they? Must be hard to know where to point your camera.

    • Glad you like my head shot, thanks. Yes, hard to know where and what to shoot first! 🙂

  13. The colors are fabulous, Nancie, the lanterns make me happy. I must see this celebration one of these days. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Love the lanterns – I don’t think that I have ever seen anything so colourful and beautiful!

  15. I really do like that lantern tree. Penang also celebrates Buddha’s Birthday (Wesak Day), and it’s public holiday for all of Malaysia. However, I haven’t seen any special decorations put up around town for it like Seoul’s lanterns. The main festivity is a procession from one of the Buddhist Association building.


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