The Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea supported and participated in the Sri Lanka Parade in the annual Lotus Lantern Festival 2018 in Seoul on Saturday 12 May evening in celebration of Vesak. The annual Lotus Lantern Festival held in central Seoul is a majestic parade involving the participation of Korean Buddhist monks and devotees, Buddhist orders and Temples carrying beautifully lit and decorated lanterns of all shapes and sizes. It is organised by the Yeondeunghoe Preservation Committee of Korea.
The Sri Lanka parade this year was organised by the Maha Bodhi Maha Viharaya in Korea under the patronage of the Most Venerable Welahinne Vachissara Thero, with the support of the Sri Lanka Embassy, the Mahamewnawa Meditation Monastery, the Korea-Sri Lanka Maha Viharaya and the Sri Lankan community in Korea, which included Sri Lankan employees and members of the Sri Lanka Students’ Association.
The Sri Lankan parade included a large lantern replicating the Ruwan Weli Seya, as well as Vesak lanterns prepared according to the Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition, and Buddhist flags. Around 100 Sri Lankans participated in the parade despite rain, making it the largest Sri Lankan parade at the Lotus Lantern Festival in recent times.
The Embassy support for the event was led by the Employment and Welfare Section under the leadership of Counsellor / Employment & Welfare Jagath Batugedara in coordination with Sri Lankan Buddhist Temples and the Sri Lankan community based in and around Seoul. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Manisha Gunasekera attended the Festival as a special invitee.
The Lotus Lantern Festival has a long tradition of more than 1,200 years and is designated as National Intangible Cultural Property by the Korean Government. It is one of the most attended number of visitors among Korean festivals, which attracts diplomats, expatriates and tourists among others.