Vesak Festival in Sri Lanka

This is famous religious festival among the Buddhists. People of other faiths too join the Buddhists to celebrate it. On this day we commemorate the three important events of Load Buddha’s life – the birth, renunciation and attaining Nirvana. His birth occurred on a Poya Day in the garden of Lumbini in India. He was a great philosopher who showed us how to control our body with a sound mind. He said “mind is chief and they are all mind-made”.

Hence to celebrate this great person’s three events people do many things. They whitewash the temples, dagabos, clear the temple premises etc. They also organize competitions on essays, singing, and drawings on Lord Buddha’s life.

Some people make giant pandols depicting the life of Lord Buddha. Philanthropists donate large amounts of money on artists skilled at our traditional arts to make them very attractive. On the Vesak Day people are seen in large numbers visiting temples and other religious places. People clad in white offer trays of flowers at the foot of Lord Buddha’s statue and observe the five precepts. Some listen to the sermons of Buddhist monks and spend time reading “Dhammapada”.

The vesak festival is celebrated specially by the children by making vesak lanterns using some sticks and colourful papers. They make those lanterns in different size and shapes. At night they illuminate using colour blubs, this symbolize the Load Buddha.

It is a common sight to see refreshing stalls put up on either side of the road offering drinks and food to the tried devotees. Another important feature is alms giving. Some organizations donate blood and vital parts of body to save the lives of others. Animals especially cattle that are to be slaughtered are freed by Buddhists after paying money to the owners. Hence, we see all these religious and meritorious acts add greater meaning to the Vesak during this season which enlightens the minds of people all over the world.


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