This year, the Vesak celebration occurs on Sunday 29th April 2018.
It is regarded as one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gauthama Buddha.
Whilst this is celebrated in all towns around Sri Lanka, Colombo is holding a special Budhdha Rashmi National Vesak Festival 2018 from 29th April to 7th May 2018.
It will take place around the famous Gangarama temple, the temple trees and the area around Bere Lake.
Vesak lanterns called Vesak koodu are lit in most of the homes in Sri Lanka on Vesak poya day. The lighting signifies an offering to the memory of the Buddha who delivered the message of Dhamma. In ancient times, people used their clay oil lamps for illumination. When candles became popular, colourful lanterns were made in different shapes and colours were used. Many associations arrange competitions on Vesak lanterns with the creators of the most beautiful lanterns being awarded valuable prizes.