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Hapcheon to Mark 1,000th Birthday of Buddhist Scriptures
By Do Je-hae
Hapcheon in South Gyeongsang Province will hold celebrations to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the creation of ``Palman Daejanggyeong,’’ or ``Tripitaka Koreana,’’ a collection of about 80,000 Buddhist scriptures carved on woodblocks.
The local administration will launch a 45-day Buddhist cultural festival in September 2011, according to Hapcheon officials Wednesday. Hapcheon is home to the Haein-sa temple where the 81,258 wooden blocks are stored.
The focus of the festival will be to rediscover the legacy of one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive versions of Buddhist canon in Chinese characters, an official said. The Tripitaka Koreana has been stored at the temple since 1398.
To share Korea’s Buddhist culture with the world, organizers will hold a series of academic conferences and exhibitions under the theme of ``One Thousand Years of Civilization and Wisdom for the Future.’’
Hapcheon is hoping that the festival will also serve as an occasion for the temple to build its status as a tourist attraction in East Asia.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed the temple and its depositories containing the Tripitaka Koreana on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1995. The woodblocks have been designated as a national treasure since 1962.
After being created, the scriptures were compiled over a period of 15 years from 1236 to 1251 during the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392).