Buddha's birthday celebration ceremony held at the Jogye Temple

President Yoon says, "I will cultivate national happiness with Buddha's heart"

By Diplomacy Journal Lee Jon-young


On the occasion of the Buddha's birthday in 2568 (A.D. 2024), Buddhist temples across the country held ceremonies to celebrate the birth of Buddha.


The Buddhist community prayed that Buddhists and people would regain peace of mind and mental health through practice and meditation, and that world peace would be realized, as the theme of this year's celebration, "Peace of Mind, Happy World," was chosen by the Buddha Day Celebration Committee.

The ceremony was held at Jogye Temple in Jongno-gu, Seoul, the headquarters of the Jogye sect, with more than 10,000 people in attendance, including Supreme Patriarch Buddist monk Jong Jeong, General Secretary Buddist monk Jin-u, and Central Religious Assembly President Buddist monk Joo Kyung, as well as Buddhists, leaders of other religions, diplomatic envoys to Korea, and migrants.


"I will do my best to conduct proper national affairs while always keeping the mind of the Buddha in mind," President Yoon Suk-yeol said on May 15, the Buddha's birthday.


"We will hold the hands of those in need warmer and take care of the smallest details of people's lives to increase the happiness of the people," Yoon said in his congratulatory remarks at the Buddha's birthday ceremony held at Jogye Temple on the 2568th anniversary of the Buddha's death. 



"Peace of mind comes when we recognize and understand the differences between ourselves and others, and when each person's heart is at peace, our society will be happier," said President Yoon. "I vow that the Buddha's compassionate teachings will be a great light for our country, and we will move forward together to a new world of peace and happiness." 


"I promise that I and the government will make every effort to help Korea overcome the crisis and make a greater leap forward," he said.



"Korean Buddhism has always been with the people, using the Buddha's teachings as a beacon," Yoon said, adding "Buddhism has been the foundation of our spiritual culture and still plays a pivotal role in making our society healthy. When the country was in trouble, it took the lead in gathering the hearts of the people to overcome the crisis."


This year's Buddha Day celebration was organized by the Korean Buddhist Jogye sect, with the theme "Peace of Mind, Happy World.



According to the presidential office, President Yoon, along with Buddhist monk Jin-u, the head of the Jogye sect, and Buddist monk Ja Gwang, the head of the Senate, made a pledge to bring happiness to all Koreans. The ceremony was followed by a blessing, an award to  Buddhists, a clarity meditation, and a blessing from the head of the sect.


The ceremony was attended by Choo Kyung-ho, floor leader of the ruling People Power Party, Park Chan-dae, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon; Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Yoo In-chon, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Park Sang-woo, Chinese Ambassador to Seoul Xing Haiming; many foreign ambassadors and other guests from the Buddhist community.



The presidential office was represented by Chief of Staff Jung Jin-seok, Chief of Policy Sung Tae-yoon, Civil Society Chief Jeon Kwang-sam, Political Affairs Chief Hong Chul-ho, Public Relations Chief Lee Do-woon, and National Security Second Chief In Sung-hwan.