Thursday, May 16, 2013

[Press Article] Daegu's First Buddha's Birthday Lantern Parade

Daegu held it's Buddha's Birthday Lantern Parade this weekend. This was the culmination of several days of celebrations for Buddha's Birthday with an inaugural lantern festival also being held at Duryu Park. This weekends debut Lantern Parade in Daegu was an dazzling spectacle showcasing the growing confidence of the City in hosting major events. 

The parade was due to start at Duryu Park at 8pm and wind its way 5 subway stops to Banwolding downtown. I expected it to be quite slow to reach downtown and didnt want to get stuck trying to get home with closed down roads so decided to catch the parade further near the start. 

As I walked towards Duryu, many local residents were already lining the parade route in anticipation. Night pictures normally don't come out well but I found a spot three subway stops down that was well lit up so found a spot to wait there. 

By about 9pm the parade began to pass thru even though we were only one stop from Duryu. 
This meant it would be well past 10pm before it went three more stops to reach Banwoldang downtown. 

The procession began with a military parade. There were soldiers carrying a massive Korean flag and a marching band. This was followed by a parade of monks and many others carrying lanterns. 

Many of the display lanterns from Duryu Park had been mounted on floats and made their way thru the procession. There were different childrens characters and women in various styles of asian dress. 

As well as a Psy impersonator (which is probably now a permanent fixture in all major events) there was a pair of women in hanbok dresses playing traditional drums. 

An interactive display towards the end were two giant dragons that could rotate their heads and occasionally breath fire. There was also a historic turtle ship float that also fired flames from its side walls. 

The parade was very impressive and took a whole hour to pass me. I expect it would take till midnite to finish downtown so glad I wasnt stuck down there waiting. 

Daegu last held a parade in October for the Colourful Daegu celebrations. That was held downtown at Banwoldong and was quite congested having a long parade thru a narrow route with lots of spectators. 

It seems as though the success of the first parade was a trial run for a much larger one that now took place for the lantern parade. Spreading it over a much wider area from Duryu Park to Banwoldang (a distance of five subway stops) made it less congested and more comfortable for residents to enjoy it from various locations. 

The City is becoming more bolder in holding large extravagant events to rival the Jinju lantern festival or Suwon Citizens Parade. Daegu is showcasing its motto 'Colourful Daegu' on many fronts.

See also 'Colourful Daegu's Citizens Parade' :

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