Buddha's Birthday

Buddha's Birthday is a statutory holiday in Korea that takes place sometime in May. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, so changes every year on the Gregorian calendar. In Korean it is called 부처님 오신 날 (Bucheo-nim oh-sin nal), meaning "the day when Buddha arrived".

In the month leading up to the holiday the temples will begin to hang colored lanterns on grids that eventually create a ceiling of colored light in the temple area. The streets around temples often hang lanterns as well.

Many Buddhist families visit a temple on this day. Most temples will offer a free breakfast/lunch of sanchae (mountain vegetable) bibimbap and tea.

It is worth it to fight the crowds on at least one Buddha's birthday while in Busan especially around dusk when all the lanterns are lit up to create a canopy of multi-colored light.

(photos by Andrew Gamble)

Buddha's Birthday Dates
2007: May 24
2008: May 12
2009: May 2
2010: May 21
2011: May 10
2012: May 28

Related Links:
Busan Temple Guide