Friday, December 24, 2010

Vesak and Poson Festival

Vesak Festival – Sri Lanka

Vesak is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May. Vesak festival is considered as both cultural & reginal festival in Sri Lanka. Buddhists celebrate Vesak to refecte the birth of Buddha, his attaining aufklarung & death of the Buddha. Many religious activities are organized during Veask days in Sri Lanka such as Sil campaigns, Bodhi Poojas, Dansalas, Vesak devotional songs, pandols and lanterns.
In temples Buddhists worship, offer flowers, light lamps and burn incense. These traditional observances, in essence, have their value in satisfying the religious and emotional needs of the people. On this holy day the Dana plays an important role. Every devotee gives alms. This is a sign of sharing with joy and peace with people. The Vesak Pandal depicting various Jathaka stories with paintings are erected all over Sri Lanka. They are illuminated and presented beautifully.
Many Vest lanterns are displayed at houses, which are very attractive and beautify the nights. People share their happiness among relatives and friends by exchanging Vest cards

Apart from Sri Lanka, many Asian countries including India, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Nepal celebrate Vesak.

Poson Festival – Sri Lanka

Poson full-moon poya day celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3 rd century B.C. Poson, held on the full moon day of June, commemorates the occasion over 2,000 years ago when Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism. The main center of celebration is Mihintale, the ancient monastic complex where the royal missionary monk Mahinda perched the first sermon to the ruling king and at Anuradhapura ancient capital, to which large crowd of pilgrims converge. Mass religious observances, illuminations pageants are part of the celebrations.Poson is the second important rigional festival in Sri Lanka. Many religious activities are organized during this poson period in Sri Lanka such as Sil campaigns, Bodhi Poojas, Dansalas(Freely giving foods, coffee, tea from people ), Poson devotional songs, Poson pandols( thoran) and lanterns. Lot of Poson pandols and Poson Lanterns are making Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. In Poson many temples are filled with Atasil devotees and pilgrims all over Sri Lanka to mark this great event. The devout, clad in pure white, with no make-up or jewelry, make their way to the temple, to spend the next twenty four hours in quiet contemplation. While the rest of the village, gather at the temple grounds after sunset to participate in lesser religious activities, like reading of holy books, or listen to the saffron clad monk relate ancient stories from Lord Buddha's previous lives.

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