A Travellerspoint blog

Lotus Lantern Parade

"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." (Henry Miller)

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"100,000 Lotus Lanterns brighten the world and the heart!"

While waiting for the parade to begin, Sara and I went to the Taj Mahal Restaurant to indulge in some Indian cuisine. To our disappointment, quick and quality service was not included as a part of our dining experience. We were so very hungry, so thought it a good idea to bring out the Korean style chips as a tasty pre-appetizer. However, once our food was finally served to us, we found it delicious.
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The Lotus Lantern Parade commenced at 7:00pm from Dongdaemun to Jogyesa Temple along Jongno Street, following the daytime festivities. There were countless handheld lanterns and giant lantern floats.

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The parade of lights and performers were amazing and entertaining. Korea does not joke about their festivals and parades! They really do things up big with their lights, culture, dance, and other entertainment.
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Day or night, the Koreans seem to love to wear big visors.

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I managed to stop a little girl carrying a pretty lantern in the parade to ask her if I could have a lantern. She handed it to me with a smile.
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After the parade ended, live entertainment was provided, music and dance.

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A large group of monks enjoyed the performances.

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Lanterns, statues, and lights flooded the streets and parks.

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I was able to collect a few lanterns while walking around.

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Posted by LiveLife 10:11 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Yeon Deung Hoe, Lotus Lantern Festival

Insa-dong, Korea

sunny 80 °F

Yeon Deoung Hoe is a traditional Korean folk festival that began in the Goryeo Period (918-1392) as the Lantern Assembly, and continued in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) as the Lantern Celebration (Kwandeung-nori). The lanterns are symbolic of the light of wisdom and compassion that dispels the dark and suffering of the world.

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During the day, the street festival offered traditional cultural experiences, performances, and other activities like making your own lotus lantern. There were many different tents to visit in order to get to know international Buddhist cultures, and try temple food.

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The Korean folk performers and international Buddhist communities put on quite an amazing show!
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During the festival, 100,000 colored lanterns fill the streets and paths throughout South Korea. In the parade alone, there were 100,000 handcrafted lanterns and 100 giant lantern floats shaped like dragons, tigers, elephants, etc. to create a spectacular display of of lantern light.

Also, while in Insa-dong, we took advantage of the all the lovely Korean shops, and the large shopping area.

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We stopped at a tea shop. There were many familiar and exotic teas to browse and sample.

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These are sample menus of what is offered at Korean restaurants.

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Once evening fell, the parade began, and the Festival's Eve Celebration.

To be continued....

Posted by LiveLife 08:55 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Science Museum

Choo Choo Field Trip

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Fieldtrips are always fun. Not only did the students get a chance to explore and learn, but I actually gained some knowledge myself as well.

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My homeroom, "Saturn Class"

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In class my students are learning about the different types of animals. They spent the most time viewing the land and sea animals during this museum visit.

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Amy, my little mini me, or you may say, "teacher's pet"

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Andrew is the wandering kid. It was difficult keeping tabs on this boy. He is a sneaky one.

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Cute Chloe, the smartest 5 year old I have ever met

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How cute is this girl..

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Posted by LiveLife 05:42 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

My Classy Kinders

At School

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Each month we have a birthday party at the school to celebrate students' birthdays. This involves song and dance, gifts, cake, and sugared-up kids. Birthday time is always a nice break from the normal routine.
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James and Daniel

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Little Miss Ella

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Jason

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Every Friday I teach Yoga/dance class to the all the kinders. We have fun interactive videos. The kids love it.

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Holding hands on the bus

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My lovely kinder class: Robin, Amy, Patty, Andrew, Jason

Posted by LiveLife 00:30 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Never have I ever sipped Makali from a bowl

BBQ, Makali, games

Nick made a trip mid-week to come visit me in Anyang. With some of my friends, we went out for our always desired Korean BBQ. After BBQ we went to a nice laid back bar that we hadn't been to before. My Korean friends wanted us to try some Makali.

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Makali is an alcoholic beverage native to Korea. It is made from rice, and is usually referred to as Makali rice wine. It is a milky white color, and tastes very sweet. It is made by fermenting boiled rice with water. It is traditionally served in a bowl, which is how it was consumed by us. It is customary to shake Makali before drinking, because the white portion settles to the bottom. The taste is quite different if you choose not to shake or stir it prior to consumption.

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We spent hours playing games, getting to know each other, all well drinking Makali. The bottles magically starting stacking up.

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Posted by LiveLife 22:43 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Hongdae ROK

Day N Nite, Just Dance

Hongdae Seoul, South Korea is the most popular nightlife area for Koreans and Westerners. It is an university area, and provides tons of fun entertainment. The area is full of cafes, pubs, disco pubs, and nightclubs offering all different types of music.

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A group of friends and I took the metro to Hongik Uni stop. We proceeded to find the first club of the night, "Ting Tings" to meet up with my best friends Nick and Ashley for a night of fun and dancing. It was a very eventful and great night. We spent the whole night dancing and laughing. We went to a few other nearby clubs towards the end of the night, "Go Go's" and "Club FF." The night turned into morning, and I took the metro back to my apt. in Anyang. I arrived back home at about 9:30am to sleep the rest of the morning.

Posted by LiveLife 23:43 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Frogs in a Pond

Arts and Crafts

Each week in arts and crafts a new theme is presented to the students. This particular theme was frogs in a pond. I had them make origami frogs, color and cut out different types of frogs, and also taught them about the life cycle of a frog and where they live.

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They enjoyed the activity more than I thought. They ended up moving all the chairs in a circle to create a pond. They put all their frogs in the pond (the middle of the chairs) to jump around and play. It was cute.

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Posted by LiveLife 21:28 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Suzie the Dog

My cute companion

Knowing that I am an animal lover, one of my friends asked me if I wanted to foster a dog for while. They have so many dogs, cats, etc. waiting to be adopted from a nearby shelter. Suzie, a sweet and shy dog, had just received surgery and needed some extra love and care. I gladly accepted Suzie to come stay at my apt with me.

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When Suzie first arrived, she was very tired, hungry, and dehydrated. She ate her entire bowl of food without hesitation, then slept straight through the night. I got her a soft pink bed to sleep on. She wanted to sleep in my bed with me, so we had to lay down some ground rules.

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Each weekday morning I wake up at 7am to have my coffee and oatmeal before taking Suzie for her morning stroll. Much like me, she rather sleep in, so I have to coax her out of her bed. Of course she loves going for walks, but she sure takes her sweet time taking care of business. After I have to leave for work, my friend Romo comes by to keep her company during the day. He takes her on mid-day walks, and to visit with Soju the cat.

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Suzie is just so sweet. She doesn't bark, or even whine. She is very shy, but loves attention. She wags her tail everytime you talk to her. Most Koreans prefer owning very small dogs. What I consider a small dog like Suzie, is in fact large. Many of the neighbors give me their disapproving glances when I walk Suzie. They do not like having bigger dogs around the streets. This is mostly because of the lack of space, and no yards. It doesn't help that Suzie always waits to do her business for when we are directly in the middle of the street near the markets and such. I swear she was doing that on purpose.

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I found a cute little doggy pink sweater outfit for Suzie, with a matching bonnett. I don't think she minded wearing it. She looked so adorable wearing the outfit. Romo was not enthusiastic for her to wear it while he had to walk her though. Aww, Suzie.

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Posted by LiveLife 23:23 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Cookie Day!

Chocolate, Sprinkles, and Smiles

It was cookie day at CCT with the Kinders. We melted piles of chocolate bars for the students to then frost their cookies/rice cakes. They looked so adorable with their aprons on. They definitely enjoyed frosting the cookies just as much as eating them.

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Shauna and Jenny melting the chocolate

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Taking turns stirring

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My students

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Yay for cookie day!

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Me with my two girls, Patty and Amy

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Patty and Amy hard at work on their cookies

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Patty is an artist

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Patty's big smile

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Art tastes delicious

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Amy is not pleased to be getting her hands dirty

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Amy is not impressed with the taste

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I will eat the cookie, but I don't have to like it

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Amy

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Well, I guess it doesn't taste so bad

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What are these anyway?

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Andrew, this takes some serious concentration

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Andrew in the zone

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Andrew loves the camera

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Don't hold back Andrew

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Me helping Andrew with the frosting and sprinkles

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Robin and Andrew

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Robin looks just delighted

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Robin, I think you need more sprinkles

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What's going on?

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Don't worry, I won't leave any traces of chocolate on my hands

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Jennifer Teacher and Jason

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Jason, so laid back

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This is a good cookie.

Cookie Day was fun!

Posted by LiveLife 07:40 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Irish in Korea

St Patrick's Day Celebration

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We celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Korea by going to a festival in Seoul. A group of us took the subway to the outdoor festival where they had live Irish music, dancing, plenty of free beverages, and loads of people to mingle with.

Previous to the outdoor celebration, festivities were being held at a pub in Seoul. It was a private party that friends and I were invited to through a group that we belong to. We were offered Irish souvenirs, green beer was plentiful, and games were played.

We spent the entire day into the evening in Seoul. We then took a taxi to Itaewon to another St. Patty's Day party at Wolfpuck Pub. It was packed with people wall to wall. We met people from all over the world. Although we were tired from such a long day of fun, we decided to go back to our local spot near home, Happidus. We sat at our regular table enjoying the remainder of the night in the comfort of great friends. Happy St. Patrick's Day from Korea!!

Posted by LiveLife 06:48 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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