Significance of Vesak
Vesak is a religious festival celebrated on the full moon of the
lunar month of Vesak (usually in the Gregorian month of May). Millions
of Buddhists around the world celebrate Vesak Day commemorating the
birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
It is the most important festival in the Buddhist calendar as it
commemorates three significant events in Buddha's life such as his
Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana.
Pandals are ercted in many areas in the island on the life story of
the Buddha. Each pandal illustrates a story from the 550 Jataka Katha or
the 550 Past Life Stories of the Buddha.
Just before Buddha passed away, he saw his faithful attendant Ananda
weeping. The Buddha advised him not to weep but to understand the
universal law that all things must disintegrate. He advised everyone not
to cry over the disintegration of the physical body but to regard his
teachings (The Dhamma) as their teacher from then on.
He also stressed that the way to pay homage to Him was not merely by
offering flowers, incense and lights but by truly and sincerely striving
to follow his teachings.