Vesak Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2020

Vesak Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2020
Golden Buddha at Dambulla,Sri Lanka
  How long until Vesak Full Moon Poya?
This holiday next takes place in 234 days.
  Dates of Vesak Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka
2021 Sri Lanka Wed, May 26 National Holiday (additional day)
2020 May 7, May 8
Sri LankaFri, May 8National Holiday
Sri LankaThu, May 7National Holiday
2019 May 18, May 19, May 20
Sri LankaMon, May 20National Holiday (additional day)
Sri LankaSun, May 19National Holiday (additional day)
Sri LankaSat, May 18National Holiday
2018 Apr 29, Apr 30
Sri LankaMon, Apr 30National Holiday
Sri LankaSun, Apr 29National Holiday
2017 May 10, May 11
Sri LankaThu, May 11National Holiday
Sri LankaWed, May 10National Holiday
  Summary
Marks three key events in Buddhas life - his birthday, the enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana
  Vesak Full Moon Poya in other countries
Vesak Full Moon Poya internationally
Related holidays

When is Wesak Day?

Wesak Day is a Holy Day for Buddhists. In fact, it is considered the holiest day in the Buddhist Calendar.

The Buddha's birthday is observed annually on the Sunday nearest to the full moon in May. It is a holiday observed by Buddhists across the world, though the exact date may differ from country to country.

In Malaysia, Wesak Day is also considered one of the country's major festivals. Buddhism is the second-largest religion after Islam.

In Indonesia, the holiday is known as Waisak Day.

History of Wesak Day

Besides being the time of the year when Buddhist temples sport a beautiful display of lights, it is also the time when Buddhists spend the whole sacred day at temples meditating, chanting prayers and offering alms to Buddhist monks.

An example of the celebrations at a temple during Wesak Day is the Vihara Temple at Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. The celebrations start at sunrise when devotees gather at the temples to meditate. In the evening, a candlelight procession from the temple to Kuala Lumpur city takes place. Many thousands of Buddhists and spectators line the route of the procession, which is led by a decorated float with a statue of the Buddha in it.

After the procession returns to the temple, a special open-air blessing service is performed and a sermon on the significance of Wesak Day is held. Traditionally the rest of the night is spent with devoted meditating, chanting and offering prayers to Lord Buddha by monks in saffron robes.

To summarise, Wesak is important because it marks three key events in Lord Gautama Buddha's life - his birthday, the enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana.

Even though followers of Buddhism have been celebrating Buddhist festivals for centuries, the decision to celebrate Wesak as Buddha's birthday was only taken at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950. 

Traditions of Vesak Poya in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, People decorate houses and the streets with candles and erect pandals (marquees) that depict the life of Buddha. During Vesak Full Moon Poya they offer prayers, chant scriptures and distribute food and sweets.

Apart from tourist destinations, all shops are closed and public transport will run on a Sunday schedule.

Vesak Poya was first proclaimed as a public holiday by Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon on March 27th 1885, while Sri Lanka was under British Rule.

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