The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2011
Hyung Jin and Yeon Ah Moon in North Korea December 13, 2011
The True Peace and Unity Cheonbok Festival was begun as a means to address the questions: How can True Parents' Birthday celebration become a festival for all humankind? How can the declaration of the Messiah be made most effectively?
In Buddhist countries when the Buddha's birthday nears, everyone knows it is coming. In Christian countries when Jesus' birthday is approaching, the signs are unavoidable. Beginning in Korea, President Moon has taken the initiative to bring True Parents' joint birthday similarly into the public consciousness. Last February he introduced the Cheonbok Festival as a starting point.
One aspect of the upcoming, second annual Cheonbok Festival that is likely to bring True Parents to the attention of the public is a grand street parade through the heart of Seoul. No doubt the media will take an interest, as two or three thousand members -- including representatives from other countries -- are expected to take part. Recognition of the True Parents' births' worldwide should indeed be boosted by a parade through a busy city of 11 million.
In 2011, True Parents began a new tradition of commemorating their birthday on True God's Day, which is now celebrated on the first day of the first month (1.1) of the heavenly calendar -- January 23 in 2012 and February 10 in 2013, twelve days before Foundation Day. True Parents' birthday, God's Day and remembrance of the Coronation for the Kingship of God will all be celebrated on the same day.
Five thousand people are expected at the New Year Midnight Prayer at the Chung Pyung Heaven and Earth Training Center, which will launch this special holy day and a week of events.
In a separate ceremony following the True God's Day and holy birth celebrations, True Parents will hold their third and final Holy Wedding, which will celebrate the restored Adam and Eve's oneness with God. A celebratory luncheon will honor True Mother on her seventieth birthday. This celebration is known in Korean as goluti. Father has suggested that at the wedding it will be as if he were the same age as True Mother.
On the eve of this day, a UPF International Leadership Conference will hold its opening plenary at Cheon Bok Gung, our World Headquarters Church. As that session concludes, cheonbok lanterns, which symbolize welcoming the Lord, will be lit and hung in the temple forecourt in anticipation of various New Year events. Though most of the ILC sessions will take place at a hotel, participants will be invited to take part in True Parents' gohui, the luncheon and the street parade.
As was the case in 2011, True Parents will be actively involved in the 2012 Cheonbok Festival. They are expected to visit Cheon Bok Gung in Seoul to create cheonbok holy salt for the spiritual protection of our members. (This will be available by mail order worldwide to members for a set donation.)
Official communications about this and other aspects of the holy day period have been sent to national headquarters. The official Cheonbok Festival web site can be viewed at www.cheonbok.org.
Other events to be hosted at Cheon Bok Gung are as diverse as a musical play depicting True Parents' lives and a charity blood drive. A student-run CARP festival will take up most of one day and will no doubt be an exciting addition to the portfolio of celebrations. A multicultural festival showcasing the talents and cuisine of non-Korean members will be open to anyone from the neighborhood surrounding Cheon Bok Gung.
A Japanese tea ceremony will brighten the Cheon Bok Gung lobby, and exhibitions of artistic talent, including a choral competition and talent show, will continue throughout the week. A painting competition is already underway, and the best paintings will be on exhibit at Cheon Bok Gung during the festival.
A debate, organized by World CARP, between proponents of atheism and of theism will convene students who recognize the value of being able to articulate cogent arguments for God's existence as a being of love. This will further remind us that we are part of a larger human community and must engage even (perhaps especially) those who virulently oppose our worldview.
Thus, the Cheonbok Festival is for all God's children, for whose blessing and redemption True Parents have come. Bringing our festivities out of the confines of our most private and venerated halls and into the public forum, inviting the public to participate, opens a way for the world's people to acknowledge and respond in celebration to God's gift for all humankind.