Korea Destinations: What to Check Out at This Year’s Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival


The Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival gets underway this Friday and runs through Sunday at Jogyesa Temple in Jongno-gu.

The Lotus Lantern Festival traces its origins to a heartwarming tale of a lantern, kindled by a poor woman’s earnest devotion, outshining all others.

Passed down for over 1,200 years, the festival has evolved into a vibrant celebration where participants craft their own lanterns and parade through city streets. Each person carries two lanterns—one for themselves and their kin, and another representing hopes for universal wisdom and compassion.

Recognized for its cultural significance, the festival attained national intangible cultural asset status in 2012 and UNESCO recognition in 2020, earning adoration worldwide.

Event Information

May 11

Eulrim Madang: 16:30 to 18:00

Lantern Parade: 19:00 to 21:30

Daedong Hanmadang: 21:30 to 23:00

May 12

Traditional Play & Performance Plaza: 11:00 to 18:00

Lotus Lantern Play: 19:00 to 21:00

Traditional Lantern Exhibition (April 24 to May 15) Experience the allure of Korean paper lanterns displayed across downtown Seoul. Eoullim Madang (May 11 16:30 to 18:00) Join the vibrant dance festivities at Dongguk University’s main stadium, honoring Buddha’s birthday. Lotus Lantern Parade (May 11 19:00 to 21:20) Witness a magnificent spectacle as waves of lotus lanterns illuminate the city center, symbolizing participants’ hopes and aspirations. Daedong Hanmadang (May 11 21:30 to 23:00) Experience the joyous Ganggangsullae dance amidst lantern-lit revelry. Traditional Culture Square & Performance Square (May 12 11:00 to 18:00) Engage your senses in Korean traditional culture through interactive experiences. Lotus Lantern Play (May 12 19:00 to 21:00) Bid farewell to the festival with lively dancing and EDM fun at Insa-dong and Jogyesa Temple.

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