feel the emptiness AND calm in one of the few national holidays in South Korea . in this case in the Holidays-struck month of May . Buddha’s birthday is one of the holidays calculated in Lunar Year so would slight vary on the dates we are accustomed to in the Western World .
in the case of 2010 – The Year We Make Contact – AND 2013 there-after, falling to Friday to make another Golden WeekEnd 😉
all regions throughout Korea has some kind of temple as well as church . it is especially intriguing to see one surrounded by the newest high-rise apartments in contrast in metropolis Seoul . a common sight nearing Buddha’s Birthday would be the tons of redish paper lanterns hung through the temples with its wishes written on tags hanging from it .
in a land obsessed with SPEED (no, NOT “to go where where no man has gone before” as in the Star Trek fame BUT to have the fastest internet speed in da World, as well as local taxi cabs’ instinctive urge to advance in a stutter-blocked city traffic) AND competition to rise among a massive population in a tiny Penninsula it is hard to believe most of its citizens believe some sort of deity OR religion . but it has more to do with animals like wolves who live AND hunt in packs, witness in church gathering in immigration communities abroad .
although raised in a religious surrounding and while I have yet to question God’s role in deciding which HDD Hard Disk Drives will go kaput in certain use of time, here in Korea Tech BLog Buddha’s Birthday concerns more with which days stores in YongSan Electronics Market District is closed during the Golden Week .
you have to not there are FOUR types of business in operation throughout YongSam Electronics Market District, directly deciding whether they will close ON the Buddha’s Birthday May 21th 2010 AND My 17th 2013 Fridays – differing dated upon year are due to calculations from Chinese Lunar Year – BUT re-open for Saturday only to close again Sunday .
- WholeSale : close Sundays & holidays,
- buildings with tiny booth compartment stores, within a shopping mall : also close Sundays & holidays,
- whole buildings operating like a department store : open Sundays & holidays but close a day early in the Week,
- official support centers for repair : again close Sundays & holidays .
but what makes things complicated, is that most buildings contain more than one common-type of business above .. resulting where some portions are closed, while some open in the WeekEnds .
as noted on my YongSan Electronics Market District Page : stores close in 2 groups throughout the week – listed by buildings :
- market-type stores crammed into older buildings, usually with whole-sale offices on upper floors such as SeonIn, NaJing and Terminal Sanga (Market Buildings) are closed Saturdays AND Sundays, still may have open-air tables set-up in front of the building;
- while lean department store-type buildings like YongSan JeonJa (Electronics) are open WeekEnds, then close on 1st AND 3rd Tuesdays of every Month – except portions under-ground AND 4th floor which has support centers .
most counties in Asia worked half-day on Tuesday OR even just as weekdays, but as the Global community spread the amusing pastime of the “Good Life” things have changed . there were workers’ desire to take Sundays off nearing the end of the last Decade and officially from the on-start of 2007 government institutions AND banks in South Korea started taking Saturdays off .
local business is another story, for expecially in hard time post-IMF companies have still got to be up on the ladder . so it is a common practice for employees to take turns taking Saturdays off . but still most business will be closing earlier Saturdays than normal weekdays, probably 1 pm or 3 pm .
all-in-all it is an accepted concensus in South Korea that majority of poor low-class citizens worked hard in the aftermath of the Korean War throughout a series of harsh military dictatorship . then as a separating line with the KangNam real estate boom over the 80’s AND the Olympics of 1988 South Korea has joined the “good life” only to advance into a tech.metropolis over the Millennium .
( May 2013 Update ) as Buddha’s Birthday coincides on Friday as the original date of this Post, above content is updated, and also corrected errors concerning mix-up between two major building sectors open-and-NOT on Sundays .