Laughing Buddha was actually a Chinese Buddhist monk and is known as Budai in China and Hotei In Japanese. Laughing Buddha is considered to be a representation of Maitreya, the future Buddha.
On to the main subject. I love collecting Laughing Buddha symbols in various forms including statues, keychains, photos etc. This month I went to Bongeunsa, a Buddhist Temple in Seoul, to be a part of the ongoing Lotus Lantern festival (a series on that is coming soon on this blog).
Every year Seoul celebrates the birth of Buddha on a grand scale and the celebrations go on for a month. However, main events are held over the course of three days. This year the main festivities lasted from 10th to 12th May.
The most exciting part for me was making Lotus Lanterns and watching The Lantern Parade. I brought back a medium-ish statue of the deity for my home, well as a shopaholic I couldn’t resist myself in the souvenir shop.
I had brought back extra material from my ‘Lotus Lantern making kit’ back home. And this is what I created from it for displaying my Laughing Buddha near the entrance of my home!
If you didn’t like what I did above, please take time to read other posts, if you liked what I did in the picture above, read on…
What I used: Paper for Lotus Petals, Book Binding Tape, Colored Silk Tape in Red and Green, Glue, A Small Laughing Buddha Statue
Time < 1 hour
(Click on the image to see it in full-size)
Step 1: Get your Muse and raw material for the project. Clean the container to hold the deity (out of respect)
Step 2: Cover 2/3 of the Pringles stand in Tape (or Satin Ribbon). I cut 5 pieces of the tape measuring a little more than the circumference of the container.
Step 3: Separate six of more lantern craft paper and twist one end (if using ombre, twist the colored part).
There are plenty of Lotus lantern making tutorials on the internet, select any one to see the technique of making petals out of rectangular petal paper sheets.
Step 4: Tape the rest of the container in a colored silk tape preferably matching the color of the petals (or at least in the same color family).
Step 5: Glue (or use little pieces of tape) to create a lotus shape around the container. Place the petals an inch above the binding tape. (I used a layer of tape same as Step 4 to fit the petals in harmony)
Step 6: If one layer of petals looks insufficient, add more petals. I preferred two layers in different shades!
Note: I initially planned for only one layer but decided to add a layer of pink later. Rule of thumb for anything like this is – start from the top. Meaning – I should have pasted pink first and then purple. Gee, I’m not crafty but you get the idea!
Step 7: Add a layer of green leaves (sticking in the opposite direction so that the leave curve outwards)
Step 8: As in Step 5, I added a layer of green silk tape to smooth out imperfect gluing and defining the shape of the flower.
Step 9: Glue the statue of Buddha to the lid of the container.
Place him near the entrance of the house at an elevated level so that he is first one you see when you enter the house.
Laughing Buddha is a symbol of wealth, prosperity and happiness. There are six main forms of him and each figurine stands for something specific. The ones that I currently have are not one of those basic six but I love what these statues stand for. And looking at Laughing Buddha brings a sense of peace to me. And he always makes me smile!
I bought the other (small) statue of Laughing Buddha at Bongeunsa in March and blogger about it here.
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- Laughing Buddha: Spreading good cheer, the world over (thehindu.com)
- Insightful Quotes By Buddha (dshenai.wordpress.com)
- A Few Misconceptions About Buddhism (basicsofbuddhism.wordpress.com)
- Yeon Deung Hoe: Seoul’s Lotus Lantern Festival (travel-stained.com)
Disclaimer: I am not a crafty person which might be evident in the rough non artist-y way I did this project but I like to work with the things I have available in my home. I hope I gave you a few ideas at the very least!