The Vesak Full Moon Poya Day is the most important Poya for Buddhists across the world as it commemorates the most eclectic event in the history of Buddhism.
By Time Out editors|
It is believed that over 2600 years ago the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana of the Great Teacher, the Supreme Buddha occurred on a day like this. Sri Lanka celebrates Vesak for almost a week in the month of May and the whole country will be lit up for the festival. Streets and homes across the Island are decorated with beautiful lanterns and almost every town has a grand pandol depicting a Jataka story.
On Poya day Buddhists visit the temple to obtain sil and meditate on the philosophy of the Great Teacher. Flowers are offered in remembrance of the Buddha’s teachings on impernance. Accumulating merit is also considered, therefore charity or giving is an important part of Vesak and Dansal (alms stalls) are organised. At night, the entire week, crowds experience the mesmerising atmosphere.