Posted by: rbbadger | May 6, 2009

Buddhist lanterns

As it was Buddha’s birthday, hanging lanterns were seen on almost every street.  Bulgwangsa (佛光寺), a Buddhist temple in the Jamsil area, put up lanterns like this.


However, this is far from the only shape used in Buddhist lanterns.  Sometimes, they look like a lotus flower.


In the parade connected with the Buddha’s birthday celebrations, you often see huge lanterns such as these on display at Bongeunsa Temple.


This is a lantern in the image of Bodhidarmha, the Indian monk who brought Buddhism to China.  He is very much a favourite figure in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhism.





Many Buddhist temples do offer lessons in how to make the traditional lanterns with paper.  However, these do not appear to be made out of paper, as paper easily burns. 

One thing which Catholics and Buddhists have in common is a love for candles.  In many Catholic churches, you will these special candle stands full of row after row of candles.  In a Buddhist temple, the faithful often offer up candles as well.  Bongeunsa, having been through several fires already, has decided on an approach that a number of Catholic parishes have, and use fake candles illumined by electric light.


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