Vesak is the most important festival for Buddhists worldwide. Lord Buddha was born, enlightened, and died on Vesak’s full moon.
Normally the streets and buildings in Sri Lanka are all illuminated with thousands of lights, much more than at Christmas, and with lanterns hanging everywhere, especially at the entrances of the temples. The houses are also decorated with these lanterns. Huge, handcrafted lanterns are exhibited in city centers, which go round and round.
People go out to visit the temples, fully decked out. There are queues at various stalls where food, drinks, and even ice cream are offered free of charge. People next to their house, facing the road, offer more food and drink to all who pass.
It is a day to go to the temples, and at night strolls through lighted streets.
But this year, for the second time in a row, Sri Lankans do not have Vesak. Last year we suffered bomb attacks and for security reasons, all acts and events were canceled. This year we are confined with Covid-19 and we have not even been able to decorate and put the lights like every year.
Therefore, we all Srilankans’ celebrated Vesak 2020, spiritually in the privacy of their homes.