Every May, the Jogye order of Buddhist monks celebrates Buddha’s birthday by displaying a stunningly beautiful arrangement of paper lanterns:
It is a little oasis of calm inside the center of Seoul, but it was not always so; in 1998 riot police had to be called to end a protest between the warring factions of Jogye monks. Things seems much calmer now:
It was also the heart of Korean Buddhism during Japanese occupation, and the temple was actually renamed “Jogyesa” once WWII ended. It had been given a Japanese name, just like millions of Korean citizens who were forced to adopt Japanese surnames during occupation.
The temple also showcases how gorgeous Korea is during spring- flowers and greenery everywhere!