Vesak Day preparations under way in Sri Lanka

18th Apr 2013

Sri Lanka is currently preparing for one of the biggest days of the year in the Buddhist calendar.

Vesak Day is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world and takes place on the day of the full moon in May.

Sometimes referred to as 'Buddha's Birthday', it encompasses the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.

The religious and cultural festival, which falls on May 24 to 25 this year, is a time when local artists devote their creativity to Buddha by recreating his life story on large billboards known as Pandals.

Thousands of coloured light bulbs highlight the artworks, while oil lamps and intricate handmade lanterns decorate homes, villages and cities in Sri Lanka.

Special religious ceremonies are held in Buddhist temples across the country to mark the event through worship, flower offerings, light lamps and incense burning.

Various cultural events are staged on the day, with the aim of bringing happiness to everyone. As is tradition, Buddhists in Sri Lanka will also distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes throughout the country.

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