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Buddha’s birthday Festival at the Gakwonsa Temple
May 17, 2018

I am from Vietnam, a Buddhist country, so I love going to pagodas and temples. Interestingly, Korea is also one of the Buddhist countries. There are many beautiful temples in Korea. In Cheonan, there is one of the greatest ancient temples, which is named Gakwonsa Temple.

Gakwonsa Temple is located on Mt. Taejo, which close to the center of Cheonan city. From the central bus station, you can take the bus 24 or 81 to get there. Gakwonsa temple is the last stop of those routes. Also, you can take a taxi with a fee bout 6,000 won.

Within the temple ground, there is a huge bronze Buddha statue with a height of 15m, a circumference of 30m, and a weight of over 60 tons, which is considered to be the biggest sitting Boddha statue in Asia.  Devotees kneel on a platform in front of the mammoth statue or follow the ritual of walking around the Buddha three times while praying.

The Buddha statue was built here on May 9, 1977, in the hope of unification for Korea. Therefore, there will be a ritual bath ceremony for the statue on May 9 every year.

More specially, one of the major festivals in Cheonan is the annual Buddha’s birthday, which is held on 8th day of the fourth lunar month (in 2018, it is May 22nd as the solar calendar). In Cheonan, a huge ceremony with traditional folk performances will take place on this day. From the beginning of April, the lantern has been hung around the temple and along the main road to the temple.

I really like the space and scenery around the temples with blossoms of cherries and azalea flowers. At this time, the lantern decorations make the scene even more beautiful.

I will return to this temple on the upcoming Buddha’s birthday Festival.

How to get there?