Monday, 27 April 2009

SparkleDown III and the Lantern Festival


Soundtrack: Love Love Love by Mountain Goats: this song always comes to my mind when it rains.

So Sparkledown III started off by Anguk Station, at a tea room which most of us liked quite a bit: the tea tasted good, and the lady kept bringing free stuff by. Cool.

We decided to move on when the music went from the nice classical stuff to the nice Korean traditional stuff...and then to the compositions on instruments that could best be described as piercing, and don't easily slide into the background, along with vocalists making grunts and moans that ALSO don't easily slide into the background.

It was raining, but we walked up to a Panini place I like (I'll write it up some other time), and we had a nice time there before strolling over to Jogye Temple to see the lanterns, and collecting a couple more people.Then it was to an "India Style" wine/lounge place near what was once Piano Street (the piano keys have all been dug up... I don't know what's going on there, but it sure is dirty right now.)

Anyway, some of the people in these pictures are online personalities, and some aren't, so you might recognize a few faces. The conversation all afternoon was really pleasant, and then in the evening it got a little goofy from time to time, but I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all. We moved on to a favorite bar of mine, and bumped into a coworker of mine, and more laughs were laughed.
And that was Saturday. Thanks to everyone who came out: I appreciated seeing you, and to those who didn't come, you missed out.

Then: Buddha's birthday and the Lantern Festival in Jongno.

But first a picture of Lotte Department Store: I like silhouettes.

Then: the street festival was a proper street festival: it was colder than other years have been, but the turnout was good. The air was clear and the light was somehow balmy, and the rain held off until a few flecks in the evening.

There was calligraphy

Free Hugs (this guy really liked his)
and my buddy Charles, the high school pal who's responsible for me coming to Korea in the first place (far left) -- you can thank him in the comments

There was a yoga demonstration that probably led to about 300 men signing up for classes. And after tea and dinner at a Japanese Restaurant in Myeongdong, I pulled out my tripod and took low-light pictures that actually had still frames instead of "he can't quite hold the camera steady" blurs.
played with the light intake to get these different takes on the same place
The lamps at Chunggyecheon (I actually took this picture another day... same stuff, though)

More from tonight:

And the Buddha's Birthday parade snaked from Dongdaemun to Jogyesa, as usual. There were tons of floats, including some that seemed like weird fits for a Buddha's Birthday celebration (a pig on a motorbike with a flame thrower? That brings ME closer to the Buddha Mind, why do you ask?)

And the cartoon Buddha (who reminds me of the Buddy Jesus)

This lady had a high powered fan to keep her gown flowing. She was like a ballerina in a snow-globe.
And the real reason I took my tripod: pictures of Tapgol Park at dark.
I love this park on Buddha's Birthday.

Ya shoulda been there, readers.


Matt Strum said...

That's a great song, I've never heard it before. I remember my first song by the mountain goats, I think it was No Children. Anyways, looks like the festival was pretty cool.

Chris in South Korea said...

Hey dude,
I was there - and the parade was great - but the talent show in-between the parade route and the temple? When did 'Let the bodies hit the floor' hard-core death metal become the favorite of ajummas? Yes, OK, it's a talent show, and that was one of the better acts I saw. I wasn't sure which was more disingenuous - the aforementioned pig with the bazooka or the death metal / b-boy / b-girl talent show... Fun times whichever way you slice it.

immerever said...


First, the piano street.
I remember reading an article which said that the Gu(district) office is going to get rid of those street-eats packed in Jong-ro area. The piano street is digged up because that area will be where all these street-eats will be allowed to run business.
The legal or illegal occupation of Jong-ro pedestrial walk has been problem since I was very little. Finally, government is doing something about it.

Then, the pig with the bazooka!
It is originally a character in a Chinese fiction called Xiyouji or in Korean Seo-yu-gi. In English, I have searched the google and this came up.

I remember it was late 1990's when the TV cartoon series of same tale came out, but with modern re-touch on almost everything: weapons, trasportations, clothings, etc. The pig you saw is called 저팔계 or Zu-ba-jie. He carries a bazooka instead of a tripod he carries in the original tale. This is what you saw out there. Together with the pig, there should have been a monkey, a slimy skinned creature, and a MONK!

Regarding the cartoon,

MKM said...


I don't exactly know what you mean by "goofy" but I'm sure you didn't say it in reference to any of my antics, right? :P

Heh. I had a good time, Roboseyo, and I know I wasn't the only one. I'll come out again next time too, if I'm allowed. Thanks for organizing!

PS: sorry about stealing your umbrella

PPS: and the shoe bag

PPPS: "Love, love, love" is like my musical comfort food! 고마워...

PPPwhatever: word verification "PRUDE"

~ Melissa

Korean Rum Diary said...

Daegu had some sweet festivities... Mostly, all the old folks drank soju and charged about in wild circles. Great banter.