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

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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.

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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.

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