Located at the skirt of Ansan Mountain in Bongwon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Bongwonsa temple, as the center of Korean Buddhism Taego, is a thousand year old temple with a long history and tradition. In 889 (3rd year of Shilla Jinseong Queen’s reign), Master Doseon-guksa founded it at the ground of Yeonhui palace (now Yonsei Univ.) and named it Banyasa temple. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592, and later in 1748 (24th year of Joseon King Yeongjo’s reign), it was rebuilt and renamed “Bongwonsa” by two Buddhist monks, Chanjeup and Jeungam.
“Yeongsanjae”, one of the Buddhist rituals and also National Intangible Cultural Property No. 50, takes place at Bongwonsa on June 6 every year wishing for the world peace and the reunification of North and South Korea. It was designated as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. During Yeongsanjae, visitors can enjoy the Buddhist arts such as Beompae (Buddhist temple music for rituals) and dancing. Also, during summer time, “Seoul Lotus Flower Culture Festival” takes place, so visitors can enjoy the beautiful lotus flowers which are a symbol of Buddhism.
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