2600 years since the birth of Buddhism; the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha.
Vesak is celebrated as a religious and a cultural festival in Sri Lanka on the full moon of the month of May, for a duration of one week. During this week, the selling of alcohol and flesh is usually prohibited, with abattoirs also being closed. Celebrations include various religious and alms giving activities. Electrically lit pandols called toranas are erected in various locations mainly in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and elsewhere, most sponsored by donors, religious societies and welfare groups. Each pandol illustrates a story from the 550 Jataka Katha or the 550 Past Life Stories of the Buddha. In addition, colourful lanterns called Vesak koodu are hung along streets and in front of homes. They signify the light of the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. 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 singbhakti gee or Buddhist devotional songs. Colombo experiences a massive influx of public from all parts of the country during this week. Wiki | Pic By Angelo Samarawickrema