The Vesak festival in the heart of Colombo – An eye-catching multicoloured spectacle

A main Buddhist religious festival celebrating the triple anniversary of Lord Buddha. In Sri Lanka, a majority Buddhist country, this festival brings about brightly lit streets full of creative and intricate lanterns to admire.

File:Colombo - Lake.jpg

Mayakaru at English Wikipedia, Colombo – Lake, CC BY 3.0

What is Vesak?
The birth, attainment of enlightenment and passing away into Nirvana are the three notable events that Vesak symbolizes. The day is spent in reflection, with devotees offering flowers, lighting lamps and burning incense in the name of God. Several traditional ceremonies occur throughout the island on and before the days leading to Vesak. The day of celebration varies each year.

How is it celebrated?
Numerous roadside stalls are erected in the evenings, distributing passers-by free drinks and refreshments! Performances and theatre performances close to various temples are a common sight during the season of Vesak. Beautifully designed bamboo lanterns adorn houses, Colombo hotels and the streets in most towns around the island! 5.3 kilometres from The Kingsbury Hotel you’ll find Bauddhaloka Mawatha, where the spectacle of Vesak is truly mesmerizing.

Where else is it celebrated?
Vesak is one of the most looked forward to the festival in the Buddhist Calendar. Buddhists all over the world commemorate this day and countries such as Sri Lanka, Japan, Nepal, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Bangladesh celebrate Vesak at a grand scale.

Celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day as a Tourist – A celebration of magnificent pomp and pageantry

Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of her independence from the British colonial rule every year on the 4th of February. Here are some important facts about this national day of Sri Lanka.


The fight for freedom

The first cries of dissent against British rule came from the Uva Province and the British responded in kind, massacring countless locals in the Uva-Wellassa region farmlands. Matale also joined the rebellion and this paved the way to fight the battle for freedom. The rebellion resulted in Sri Lankan falling completely under British rule while before the island was a protectorate under the English crown.


Sri Lanka, after gaining independence on 4th February 1948, this day is celebrated annually to mark the victory of the country’s freedom struggle. Generally, citizens all over the country celebrate this day with cultural performances, flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, and parades. The main celebration takes place in Colombo and it’s a televised event.


On Independence Day, all the war heroes who fought for the country are remembered to commemorate this historic day. The president also pays tribute to the war heroes by observing two minutes of silence. The colourful military parade performed by the tri-forces is an interesting highlight of this day.


Travellers visiting the country by this time of the year can often hear traditional patriotic songs about Sri Lanka. Those songs are often accompanied by a colourful performance. If you’re residing at one of the many Colombo hotels the likes of The Kingsbury Colombo, you can learn more about Sri Lanka’s diverse cultures.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+