Our friend called us on Wednesday night at 7:55 PM to tell us that they saw a parade for Buddha’s birthday being set up in the next town over and it started at 8:00 PM – he sent us a video of the parade, and when we saw it, we looked at each other and decided to head over there as quickly as we could! We jumped in the car and headed over to Gohyeon which is about 15 minutes away.
When we got there, we were driving around and didn’t see any signs of excitement and certainly no parade floats, so we continued to drive around for a little bit and spotted several police officers holding lighted batons to control traffic. We decided to park the car and go and ask the police officers if the parade would go by here. We asked one of the officers and he just smiled and nodded…we didn’t think he had any idea what we were talking about so we showed him the video on Ryan’s phone and he shook his head a bit more vigorously. As we stood there, several families came by as well, so we thought for sure this was a good spot. Sure enough…in about 20 minutes, we heard drums and singing as the parade came our way!! It was really fun!
We still aren’t sure why the parade was on Wednesday (May 23rd) when the holiday for his birthday is this coming Monday (May 28th) – hopefully we’ll see some more festivities over the weekend! This certainly was one of our favorite cultural moments so far!