May 28, 2012

석가탄신일 buddha's birthday

Today I decided to just ride around and visit temples. It's Buddha's birthday, so temples offer food to everyone that visits for free, and sometimes there's also entertainment as well.
 I was tipped off to two nearby temples by a random, friendly Korean that I met on the street. She kindly sent me a map showing how to get there and I was on my way. They both are slightly outside of Chungju, up in the mountains. The first one was 창룡사 Chang-ryong temple and it was a 1 km hike from the main road (unless you drove up, or took a shuttle that was available for Buddha's birthday). I opted to hike it, it seemed like the most appropriate way to visit a temple.
 There were some people singing and everyone was sitting around eating fruit and rice cakes handed out from the temple.
 The view was absolutely beautiful.
 Colourful lanterns everywhere.
Next I visited 석종사 Seokjong temple. Right before the temple there were three Buddhas carved into stone surrounded by place markers. I'm not really sure what they are...
 It was also a bit of a hike up the mountain, but not as long as the last one. It was a whole lot more beautiful though... The best temple I've visited in Chungju for sure.
 It came complete with its own cemetery.
And vegetable gardens. It seemed more like a Buddhist complex than anything.
Pots for fermenting all kinds of things. I'll have to visit again, especially since it's so close.
And what I learned today from the intermittent thunder and lightning storms, is that Abby has developed a fear of thunder. Maybe because it's pretty rare for Korea? When the first thunder crackled, she jumped from the couch onto the bed with me. Second blast of thunder and she was off the bed, pawing the closet door open and crawling inside.

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