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It's the Vesak Season !
Vesak is a holy day observed traditionally in Sri Lanka, as well as in countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, South East Asian countries of Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines & etc where Buddhism is practiced.
This special day commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment (nirvāna), and Death (Parinirvāna) of Lord Buddha.
In Sri Lanka where Theravada Buddhism is practiced, the, Vesak is celebrated on a... full moon day, typically in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Accordingly this year Vesak falls on the full moon day of 24th May 2013
In other countries, the exact date of Vesak, varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions.
Highlight during this period is the spectacular hand-crafted & illuminated lanterns & giant pandas which display Buddhist Icons & scenes displaying the life of Lord Buddha which can be seen island wide.
Today Sri Lanka celebrate 69 years of independence from British rule. Formerly known as Ceylon, the country attained self-rule in 1948 while remaining a British dominion. This continued until 1972 when it became a republic and was renamed Sri Lanka.
The main celebration will take place at Galle Face, in the capital of Colombo under the patronage of President Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena and Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wicramasinghe. Cultural dances, military parades, and a flag raising ceremony will be some of the highlights.
For Sri Lanka it is a day for remembrance as well as celebration.
Two minutes of silence will be observed in memory of Sri Lanka’s national heroes and military heroes who lost their lives for the sake of motherland.,
Today Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Asia and in rest of the world celebrate Vesak. The Vesak festival, or Buddha Day, celebrates three major events in the life of the Lord Buddha: his Birth, Enlightenment and Death on the full moon of the 6th lunar month (May). It is the most important festival in the Buddhist lunar calendar.
Vesak gives prominence to “Amisa Pooja” and “Prathipatthi Pooja” (Religious activities) by way of observing both rituals and precepts.
Decorating the streets, homes and buildings with colorful lights, Lamps, lanterns and other decorations are a very common during vesak period. Giant colorful Pandals displaying the life of Lord Bhuddha can be seen islandwide in Sri Lanka.
Arms-giving stalls providing free food (Dansals) are another feature during Vesak.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister inspects situation in flood-stricken areas