SEOUL, South Korea , Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The opening ceremony of the 2011 Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana was held at the main event site located in Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea, on September 23rd, 2011. This festival celebrates the millennial history of the Tripitaka Koreana, a UNESCO world record heritage.
The 2011 Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana commemorates the cultural and historical values of the Tripitaka Koreana, which is considered as the highest quality woodblocks in the history of mankind. Under the theme of "The breath of Goryeo people with a thousand years of wisdom", the festivities continue for 45 days from September 23rd to November 6th at the main event halls and the areas near Haeinsa Temple.
The opening ceremony was attended by many distinguished guests such as Hwang-shik Kim, the Prime Minister, Doo-gwan Kim, the Governor of Gyeongsangnam-do, Jongjeong Sunim of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and Gwang-shik Choi, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Other attendees include 28 ambassadors to South Korea and their wives from 15 countries, including the Italian Ambassador to South Korea, Sergio Mercuri, and a 14-member delegation from 5 countries including China and Japan, which have sister relationships with Gyeongsangnam-do. In addition, some 1,500 visitors attended the ceremony to celebrate the kick-off of the Festival.
With the opening ceremony, the five main event halls of the Festival, including the Tripitaka Millennium Hall, opened their doors to visitors from home and abroad.
The Tripitaka Millennium Hall attracts visitors with advanced digital technologies such as 3D wrapping and holocube to show the history and value of the Tripitaka Koreana and illustrate the scientific excellence of Janggyeong Panjeon. The authentic woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana from Janggyeong Panjeon of Haeinsa Temple grab the attention of many visitors.
The Knowledge and Civilization Hall exhibits the history of the archival culture as well as Geumsagyeong (Tripitaka written in gold). "Harmony of a Millennium", a digital art performance, is another fascinating attraction that awaits visitors.
Completed in 1251, the Tripitaka Koreana is the oldest intact woodblocks in the world. It is estimated that it took 20 years to create 81,258 woodblocks, which weigh nearly 280 tons. The height of the woodblocks is about 3,200 meters when stacked up vertically, and the length is about 60 kilometers when placed in line. Approximately 5,200 characters are engraved to record 1,538 kinds of Buddhist scriptures.
Doo-gwan Kim, the Governer of Gyeongsangnam-do, stated, "The Festival is an international cultural event that offers a rare opportunity to view the authentic woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and experience the culture and history of South Korea." He added, "We will do our best to ensure that foreign tourists can enjoy various programs and cultural activities."
Media Contact: Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana Organizing Committee; TEL: +82-55-211-6251; FAX : +82-55-211-6259
Source: Tripitaka Koreana
The official website of the 2011 Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana