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Come to discover A to Z about Yeondeunghoe

Posted December. 18, 2020 07:39,   

Updated December. 18, 2020 07:39


The National Intangible Heritage Center and the Yeondeunghoe Preservation Committee will hold a special exhibition of Yeondeunghoe. South Korea’s Lotus Lantern Festival has been recently added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. “A Thousand Splendors: the Korean Lantern Lighting Festival” is scheduled to open on Friday on the 2nd floor of Nurimaru of the National Intangible Heritage Center.

The special display gives visitors a window into the origin of South Korea's lotus lantern festival described in Buddhist scriptures “Hyeonwookyeong;” its developments based on historical references dating back to the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties; the changes witnessed throughout the Japanese colonial imperial period and the modern era; and how lanterns are made. Visitors also have a chance to experience a core ritual of bathing a Buddha statue and a lantern-making session.

Yeondeunghoe originated from ancient India, traveling a long distance with Buddhism to reach the Unified Silla Kingdom. The festival turned into a national ritual or a seasonal holiday event for common people during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. Today, it is attended even by many visitors coming from other nations. In recognition of its significance, the lantern festival has been designated as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage this year. The upcoming exhibition is available free of charge until Feb. 28 next year.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com