What a weekend! Saturday afternoon we drove up to Seoul to stay at the Dragon Hill Lodge on Yongsan Garrison. We spent some time playing at their awesome school playground, checked in and then headed out to the train. I had reserved us a spot in the foreigners section of the parade route, so we were guaranteed a great seat! To fun was that the monks visiting from Thailand sat with us….I always think of foreigners in Korea being western, so it was neat to see them. As we waited for the parade to start, there were entertainers in the street that Zoe had fun dancing along with.
The parade was awesome. It was full of groups carrying lanterns, huge fancy lanterns like floats, and traditional bands. Avi LOVED the music. He would dance and dance. A few parade attendees even handed us their lanterns to have! This was cool because toward the end, our whole ‘foreigners’ group was invited to join the parade. We certainly did. Zoe had been given 4 bracelets by a group in the parade, and she enjoyed passing those on by giving them to a few girls along the way. I was so proud that she thought of this! Later she declared this to be the best parade ever because it was so long. It was long….a 3 hour parade.
In the morning we returned to the festival to have fun with all the activities and make a special lotus lantern. Bryan and Zoe worked on a rainbow colored lantern and won an award for it! Theirs was judged pretty enough to get a cool set of brass Buddha bookmarks. We also enjoyed some food and all the booths with crafts and traditional experiences. The highlight for Zoe was visiting the Indian Buddhist tent where she got to dress up in a sari and get her picture in front of the Taj Mahal. I think Avi mostly liked coloring and getting a balloon. Also interesting for Bryan and I were all the foreign monks who had come to man the tent’s; it was fun to see monks from different countries visiting with each other.
This is such an awesome event!! It would be a great time of year to visit Korea. Hint Hint. We are taking reservations for our spare room.