29th Notre Dame Azalea Bazaar, South Korea


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May 5 is the annual bazaar day of Incheon Regina Pacis Province. The Azalea Bazaar, that just marked the 29th event this year, began in 1986 for funding the Education Centre for the handicapped, the present Notre Dame Rehabilitation Centre. May is the month when azaleas are in full bloom at the Provincial house and in Gyeyang Mountain behind it, which is why this Bazaar has been named after the flower.

At the bazaar, sisters’ handcrafts, carved candles and food items and a wide variety of goods such as donated clothing, various accessories and teas are put out for sale. This is also a joyful occasion where sisters, associates, families, collaborators and acquaintances meet one another, share greetings and chat. As this event has taken place annually for the past 30 years, many old volunteers often come up with ideas about new items for the bazaar and look forward to the day and its preparation.

Particularly because this day is also Children’s Day, a national holiday, special booths and programs geared for children are arranged so that families spend some fun time together. Also in context of the holiday, a number of neighbors and hikers of Gyeyang Mountain come to visit the Province grounds to enjoy themselves.

Collections from the Mass celebrated in the pine garden of the convent are sent to the places in need each year and/or used for ministry. This year’s collection is shared with victims of the earthquakes in Nepal and the proceeds will be used for Notre Dame Brethren House and the education development of Bakmun School that is run by the Sisters.

Notre Dame Azalea Bazaar is a festival of beautiful encounters with beautiful people in a beautiful season.