Here we are, back at one of the most interesting times of the year! Vesak in Sri Lanka is a colorful, exciting and magical sight. There’s lots of festive things to do; roam around to see the endless decors, nibble away at free food and ice cream and even join in the various mesmerizing rituals at the island’s gleaming temples.
The heartily celebrated holiday is also known as the Festival of Light and it is just that – a full weeks’ worth celebration of brilliantly lit streets, free food and extravagant Pandals. The day is honored by Buddhists as the day of Prince Siddhartha’s birth, his rise to Buddhahood and his passing away. Of these three events, Lord Buddha’s enlightenment is considered to be the most sacred. While you’re out celebrating Vesak in Sri Lanka, you’ll see plenty of Pandals and other displays that show you the journey of the Prince from his start as a proud royal, his life as an ascetic and finally his achievement of ultimate happiness through enlightenment. Observing Buddhists spend their time during the holiday to visit the temples, practice the eight holy precepts and focus on meditation.
And just like every year, the towns are now buzzing with locals working on some truly fantastic Vesak venues for everyone to join in. The Bauddhaloka Vesak Zone in Colombo is getting geared up to celebrate the best Vesak in Sri Lanka ever. Don’t miss out on this chance to enjoy spectacular Vesak lanterns, pandals and a number of other cool sights. The festival will last over four days from May 10th to the 13th. Another popular pick, the Buddha Rashmi Vesak Zone will also be open over the same time frame. Expect mind-blowing Vesak lantern competitions, lots of free food and really loud Buddhist hymns in the background.
Another must-visit destination this holiday is the Kolomthota Vesak Zone. Here, in addition to the usual razzle-dazzle, you’ll also find the island’s very first laser-designed Vesak pandal. This amazing creation is to be 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide and depict several important highlights of Buddhist history. The excitement is definitely ramping up and this year’s Vesak in Sri Lanka promises to be better than any other. Other places worth a visit this holiday include the Sirasa Vesak Zone and the kite festival at Galle Face.