First Lady Kim Jung-sook laid a wreath at the old memorial of Queen Huh in Ayodhya, India, at 3:15 pm (local time) and moved to the site of the new Queen Huh Memorial Park to attend its groundbreaking ceremony. According to ancient accounts, an Indian princess traveled to Korea’s Gaya Kingdom around 2,000 years ago to marry its ruler and become Queen Huh.
At the ceremony, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jonghwan and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath delivered congratulatory remarks and unveiled the new memorial.
At the subsequent opening ceremony for the Diwali festival, the First Lady gave a congratulatory speech and mentioned the Korean people’s candlelight revolution while citing a Hindi phrase that translates into “darkness cannot overshadow light,” which also parallels the meaning behind the Diwali festival. At the same time, she expressed her desire for the two countries to advance cooperation with a wish for abundant good fortune amid the beautiful friendship being rekindled upon the longstanding relations between Korea and India.
At the lamp-lighting ceremony in front of the Saryu River, a traditional Aarti prayer ritual was held to wish for peace and ward off misfortunes. The First Lady, Chief Minister Adityanath and other prominent guests lit lotus lanterns during the ritual and set them adrift on the river. This event was previously not part of the Diwali festival; it was specially prepared this time to offer prayers for progress in Korea and India and their friendly relations. The lotus lanterns added to the ritual were prepared by Seoul’s Jogyesa Temple and sent to India.
Toward the end of the festivities, Chief Minister Adityanath told the crowd that he was very grateful to the First Lady and her delegation who had traveled from afar. The Chief Minister went on to say that the state of Uttar Pradesh would actively support Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to reinforce Korea-India relations, expressing his gratitude once more to the First Lady for her visit.
On the sidelines, a certification ceremony was held to announce that the 300,000 lights lit today qualified for listing in Guinness World Records.