When I started my blog about Korea it was my intention to express my feelings and mood caused by facts, thoughts and memories related to Korea. For this reason I decided to spend some posts on different colors. What do certain colors mean to me in relation to Korea ?
So this month’s color is pink ! Pink reminds me immediately to splendid colored Lotus flower. And since summer is coming to an end, and so also the Lotus flowers, I thought it was a good moment to write some about this pink eye catching flower.
A Lotus flower is almost similar to a water lily. They both grow in muddy waters and rise their flower above the surface.
The waxy-coated leaves of the flower lily float on the water while those of the Lotus flower mostly rise up of the water.
In both situations the leaves try to keep the flower clean and dry.
When you visit Korea in summertime there’s a huge chance to see blooming lotus flowers, especially in the countryside where you can find extensive fields of Lotus flowers. In summertime during daytime, they bloom with a remarkable beauty, while they close at nighttime.
In Buddhism the lotus flowers symbolize the true nature of all beings, the purity of the heart and mind, while they also represent faithfulness, fortune, long life, humility, honor and tranquility. For this reason they are often used as decorations in and around temples as lanterns, or on paintings, statues and pagoda’s, on candles, etc.
The importance of the Lotus flower in Buddhism is stressed by the yearly Lotus Lantern festival to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Whenever you have the chance to experience a Temple stay program they will certainly teach you how to make a paper Lotus flower.
The Lotus flower is also used in Korean cuisine and traditional medicine. Eaten cooked or raw Koreans use all parts of the plant. Especially the crunchy root is known for its excellent source of vitamin C, while the leaves are often used to wrap steamed mixed rice and seeds. The flower itself is often used to make tea.
In traditional oriental medicine the flower is said to benefit the liver function and to strengthen the heart, spleen and stomach.
To me the Lotus flower is the most perfect amongst all flowers. The sad part is that the flower only lasts a couple of days, expressing the fact that nothing in life is permanent …
One of my favorite places to enjoy the blooming Lotus flower are the fields near Cheomseongdae and Anapji pond in Gyeongju. This place is loved by young people and photographers who come to this place to make their most beautiful pictures while older people like to gather to have a chat in the pavilion.
Sitting near a lake or pond, watching the pure beauty of the flowers, clears my mind.