A ticket sale for a temple night tour program in South Korea was reportedly sold out hours after it opened its booking after announcing that a part of its activities included sharing a tea ceremony with the temple’s online heartthrob monk.
Fully booked: The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism announced last week that its free night tour program for the Hwaeomsa temple at Jirisan Mountain in South Jeolla Province, South Korea, which only accepted a maximum of 22 participants on a first-come, first-served basis, sold out just four hours after it opened, Korea Herald reported.
What caused it: Many people reportedly booked a slot for the tour as it entailed a tea time session with Venerable Beomjeong, also known as “Flower Monk,” who is known for his K-pop-like good looks and boasts over 27,000 followers on Instagram.
Explaining his nickname: In his Instagram bio, Venerable Beomjeong explains that he aspires “to be a flower,” someone who “emits the deepest scent to others.” In Korean culture, a “flower” is reportedly used to describe a man, usually a younger man, who is viewed as “pretty” or having “delicate facial features.”
To attract the youth: Venerable Beomjeong’s boom in online popularity came as Hwaeomsa continued its push to reach out to the younger generation, an effort that also included programs such as a flower photo contest, yoga competitions and a film music festival. Most of his followers are reportedly in the 20s and 30s.
Hot tickets: Due to the popularity of the temple’s free night tour program, Hwaeomsa reportedly opened 18 more slots on Sept. 7.