The Gecko Committee would like to wish you all a peaceful Vesak.
Vesak is a Buddhist holy day, observed diligently in Sri Lanka. The first full moon day of the Indian lunar calendar month Visakha, Vesak is an observance of various significant events in the life of the Buddha. Specific practices and rites differ subtly between the different branches of Buddhist practice, but common to all is the commemoration of the Buddha’s birth. At the same time, the Buddha’s dedication to attaining Nirvana (Enlightenment) and teachings such as the Noble Eightfold Path are remembered.
Different communities will commemorate Vesak in various ways depending on cultural traditions. My childhood memories of the day involved going to the temple for almsgivings of food and essential items to the Sangha (monks and nuns) followed by meditation and talks on the teachings of the Buddha. Colourful displays of tribute, involving lanterns and artistic depictions of stories from the Buddha’s life are also observed around the world.
A lit lantern carrying the image of Buddha is seen on Vesak day in Colombo on May 8, 2009. Wesak, the holiest day in the Buddhist calendar, is commemorated to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. (LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)