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Togetherness Celebration: Prelude for the Lotus Lantern Festival
This is the busiest time of the year for Buddhists as they prepare for Buddha’s birthday celebrations. On May 9, a preview for the festival, “Togetherness Celebration” was held at the Jangchung Sports Complx to raise the enthusiasm for the Lotus Lantern Festival. At this celebration, temple performance groups showed off what they will do during the weekend festival (May 14 ~ 16). Likewise on this day, there was a “Sharing with Compassion” event with “Friends on the Path,” a Jogye Order public welfare foundation.
More than 4000 gathered for this event. Fourteen “Yeonhee” performance groups with 570 members and 26 “Rhythm” performance groups with 600 members (young adults, college students, teenagers, and children) gave joyful performances for around two hours. These groups showed that they were ready for the upcoming festival.
Ven. Jaseung, the chair of the Festival Planning Committee said, “The Lotus Lantern Festival has become an international festival that best represents . As we have today’s Togetherness Celebration with the Sharing with Compassion event, I hope that sharing will take place throughout our society in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.”
The second part of the event featured the theme of raising money to help the less fortunate of society. There were also performances by physically disabled people. The famous TV drama writer, No Hee-kyeong read a prepared aspiration, “We have met together this day to uphold the wisdom of Buddha and emulate his compassion to share the suffering of our neighbors who are facing financial difficulties. We pray that we may live in a happier world through the merit of this generosity generated this day, believing we live a world of interdependence where beings depend of each other.”