Theme 1 had only one lantern and it was pretty cute. And by Theme 2, I was ready for a little Korean History lesson. I have never been a fan of learning history by reading so I loved learning it through bright lanterns and the details beside them.
The water clock (on the right in the image below) was very fascinating mainly because the lantern looked like a mini fort to me in the first glance. I would have loved to be an inventor of something like this.
The accuracy of lantern designs to reality amazed me through out the festival.
Theme 2: The Story of Ancestors
Artificial waterfall marking the start of Cheonggyecheon stream, Seoul City Wall lantern above, Jagyeongnu lantern on the right.
Jagyeongnu: A water clock where the hours, minutes, and seconds were automatically marked with the sounds of a bell, drum, and gong, using the buoyancy of fallen water.
Impressive isn’t it?
It is the biggest lantern I have ever seen, set up very much like a real stage. A pre-recorded audio(instrumental) was being played close to this lantern.
Apparently, this music was played during commemorative rites at Jongmyo, the shrine housing the ancestral tablets of the kings and queens of Joseon. Jongmyo shrine is one of the UNESCO World Heritage site located in Jongno, Seoul.
the Korean alphabet system created by King Sejong the Great, now known as
Court ladies (picture on right) held paper lanterns when the queen went out in the dark to brighten the way.
I really like the lifelike appeal to the “court lady”. She looks so graceful.
We missed the lantern making demonstrations 🙁 But after attending this festival, I really want to learn about the process behind it. It is on my bucket list and if I stay in Korea till next year I may be able to realize it.
I hope you like my posts about the Seoul Lantern Festival. I am enjoying the whole process of putting them together. I know that I remember it all right now but will eventually forget the sequence and the story behind these beautiful lanterns. This way it will remain with me forever.