The Bongchuk ceremony was successfully held.
Dongguk University is steadily growing into a Buddhist school as a central educational institution for new education with Buddhist visionaries. Buddhist events have been held since the opening of the school to this day to cultivate it based on the philosophy of learning that the school hones, as well as its academic outlook and character based on Buddhist spirit. A representative annual event is Buddha’s Birthday, and this year, without an exception, the Buddha’s Birthday event was held. Dongguk University also held various Buddha’s Birthday events this year, which could not be held before due to COVID-19. Therefore, the Dongguk Post would like to introduce Buddha’s Birthday, report how Dongguk University commemorates this day and how the event had not been able for the students to enjoy due to COVID-19.
Buddha’s Birthday has various meanings and definition in many countries
The term “Buddha’s Birthday” means a legal anniversary established to commemorate the birth of Sakyamuni. It is one of the legal holidays in Korea, which is April 8th of the lunar calendar. Since it is based on the lunar calendar, the date of the Gregorian calendar varies every year depending on the existence of the leap month or the date of the first day of the lunar calendar, and it usually comes in May of the Gregorian calendar, but sometimes comes in April.
Among many countries in the world, there are many Buddhist countries especially in Asia, and each country has different names and ways of commemorating Buddha’s Birthday. Celebrations vary from country to country so that you can see various Buddha’s birthday events around the world. Southern Buddhists countries, such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar set the day when the full moon rises in May as “Wesak Day” every year and celebrate the birth of the Buddha. Currently, Buddhists have a culture of making lanterns containing their future hopes and hanging them at the gate to pray for the pains of their families and reveal unknown people. Although there are differences in the date and method of celebrating Buddha’s birthday by country, the willingness to practice Buddha’s teachings is common throughout the world. In addition, they are inviting, celebrating, and communicating with each other. It is a day for everyone to be happy together and to practice the salvation of the living.
Dongguk University commemorated Buddha’s Birthday
COVID-19, which arose unexpectedly in 2020, has not ended yet. Many students had no time to come to school as the classes were switched to non-face-to-face, and the event ended with regret due to many restrictions according to situations. In April, the lotus lantern festival and light beacon hanging event were held and many students participated. The light beacon hanging event was held both online and face-to-face. Students received applications from Paljeongdo and posted their own light beacons containing their wishes. The lighting with the wishes of many students in a row was beautiful. The lighting ceremony was also held, allowing students to see it in Paljeongdo, which shines brightly at night. In addition, the lighting of lanterns resumed after three years. At Dongguk University, many participants took part in the procession of lanterns in a row starting at a sports stadium. It was able to see the people participating happily as if they had shaken off the regrets held for the first time in three years. Nevertheless, only a limited number of people participated due to social distancing, and more students were not able to participate due to COVID-19. This year, conditions enabled the event to be held with results exceeding every Donggukian had hoped for.
At the 5th meeting of the heads of the basic institutions of Construction and Education, the heads of each representative institution gathered to prepare various plans for the Buddha’s birthday event. In the meeting, progress reports and future reports were discussed. In April, the Bongchuk lighting ceremony was held to commemorate Buddha’s birthday, and a student wish lamp hanging event and a lantern-making event were held. Many students participated in the event to make the campus atmosphere more beautiful. Students prepared an event to celebrate Buddha’s Day, too. “Dongbul” is a formal club that celebrates Buddha’s Day via Instagram to share a day on Buddha’s Birthday. It also posted notices in front of products. They said, “It was regrettable that only a small number of people could participate in the event due to COVID-19. However, it was fun to have an opportunity to become interested in Buddhism and strengthen the friendship of club members on the occasion of Buddha’s birthday. Starting with Buddha’s Day, more face-to-face events will be held in the future to provide more active activities.” In addition, to commemorate Buddha’s birthday, a classical performance was held at 10:30 A.M. on May 3rd to share “peace and hope” in celebration of the memorial service ceremony at Jeonggakwon Temple. Teachers and club OPUS attended and played the piano and classical quartet to further brighten the atmosphere of the event. Haydn String Quartet Op 64 No. 5 the first Movement, Bohyeon Haengwon, and Today is a good day, were played. The subtitle of the Op 64 No. 5 of the first movement was named “Lark Bird,” and it was selected because it felt bright and cheerful as it was an important event in Buddhism. They thought it could convey a nature-friendly image as it was reminiscent of a lark crying in a temple in the forest. Moreover, other two songs are hymn songs selected by Jeonggakwon Temple, and “Bohyeon Haengwon” is a song that contains the attendance of Bohyeon Bodhisattva, and is often sung at the Buddhist ceremony. “Today is a good day” is a song that celebrates the day Buddha was born. OPUS said they were nervous and proud that they were in charge of performing at the event, which was considered important at Dongguk University, and it was good to have a unique experience. In addition, from 10 A.M. on May 8th, a Buddhist prayer was held at Jeonggakwon Temple, and two Buddhist tributes were held before and after Buddha’s birthday.
Various Buddhist countries around the world including Korea hold events for Buddha’s birthday. Just as Korea prepares various events for May 8th, Dongguk University also planned Buddha’s Birthday events. Students actively participated in the Buddha’s Birthday event, which can only be enjoyed at Dongguk University. They were able to finish the event successfully by beautifully illuminating the night around Paljeongdo. The Dongguk Post recommends you to have a more enjoyable school life by taking an interest in and getting to know about Buddhist-related events.
Jung Ji-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 동국포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>