Getting ready for Buddha’s Birthday

This photo was in the Korea Times today. From the caption it is unclear if these are monks in training or just kids off the street who had their head’s shaved at a temple in Seoul.  The contrast in reactions tickled me. 

Buddha’s birthday is coming up on the 21st and the lotus lanterns are coming out all over Korea. In Korea this day is called 석가탄신일 (Seokga tansinil), meaning “the day of Buddha’s birthday” or 부처님 오신 날 (Bucheonim osin nal) meaning “the day when Buddha arrived”.  Most of the lanterns symbolize health, longevity and rich harvest. 

We’ll be headed to Seoul to see the Lotus Lantern Festival for the second time. Besides for being an interesting festival, it is also a reminder of just how aesthetically pleasing Buddhism can be.

One thought on “Getting ready for Buddha’s Birthday

  1. Doreen says:

    they are 동자스님. they are usually orphans or children that the parents abandon due to financial or other reasons. The buddhists take them under their care. They grow in the temples until they are old enough to decide what to do with their lives. They go to school, and act as normal kids but they also get educated in buddhist philosophy. When they're adults they have a choice whether they want to get out of the temple or go to college and get educated in buddhism and become a monk.
    BTW I love your blog 😀

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