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Vesak

Sri Lanka.
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Overview
Vesak is considered as both a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May. Vesak is one of the biggest days of the year in the Buddhist calendar and is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Buddhists commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, his supreme attainment as the Buddha, the Enlightened One and his Parinibbana over 2500 year.

Many temples are filled with pilgrims all over Sri Lanka to mark this great event. In temples Buddhists worship, offer flowers, light lamps and burn incense. During the Veask Festival week, the selling of alcohol and flesh is usually prohibited, with abattoirs also being closed.

Electrically lit Vesak pandols called “toran” are erected in various locations. Each pandol illustrates a story from the 550 Jathaka Katha (Past Life Stories) of the Buddha.
Vesak lanterns called Vesak koodu are lit in most of the homes and food stalls set up by Buddhist devotees called dansälas provide free food and drinks to passersby.
Groups of people from various community organisations, businesses and government departments sing bhakti gee or Buddhist devotional songs.
Colombo experiences a massive influx of public from all parts of the country during this week.

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