Lotus flowers are beginning to bloom this week, and their appearance is more than just pretty to ancient Korean eyes – this is the flower that symbolises humanity, and the nature of Buddhism. These stunning flowers have a fragile clean beauty, even though they grow out from dark, murky waters. That’s said to represent human nature – and humans on the path to enlightenment.

You can find lotus ponds in many public places in Korea – most parks will have at least one. However, it’s hard to beat the spectacular views promised by the Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival. This ten-day festival promises 10 million lotus flowers and nighttime illuminations. It’s running from now until July 16th, and this year marks the 15th festival.

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Hands-on activities at the festival include making paper lotus flowers and lotus soap. There’s also a lot of lotus-themed art events, like poetry and photo exhibits, and family events including a lotus footbath.

The official website is here, and the Korean Tourist Board’s page is also useful for an overview.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.