The United Nations has given a special award to a festival in South Korea. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to add South Korea's Lotus Lantern Festival to its list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The festival was one of 25 things the UN decided to add to its heritage list this year. Some things that UNESCO adds to its heritage list are tangible - this means we can touch them. Examples are the Pyramids in Egypt or Machu Picchu in Peru. If something is intangible, we generally cannot touch it. Events like South Korea's Lotus Lantern Festival or a dance or a method for weaving baskets are examples of intangible heritage.
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South Korea's Lotus Lantern Festival is a springtime event that is held to celebrate Buddha's birthday on April the 8th. It symbolizes lighting up the world to make things fair for everyone. The festival dates back two millennia. Historians say there was an ancient kingdom in 57BC where royals visited a temple to see lotus lanterns. Today, it is one of South Korea's biggest festivals. People make lanterns with paper and bamboo. They decorate temples with these. Many villages, towns and cities hold parades in which the lanterns are carried through the streets. A spokesperson said: "We will try to make the festival a cultural heritage that can be loved by people around the world regardless of their religion."