Vesak Poya

29 - 30 May 2018
Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo

Rainbow-hued light displays, free treats and a festive atmosphere: Vesak Poya is a beautiful Buddhist spectacle.

  • When? 29th - 30th May 2018
  • Where? Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo
  • Price: Free

Anything that includes free food generally gets our seal of approval and when it's also part of an age old Buddhist tradition it's all the more impressive. Vesak Poya - the celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death - is one of Sri Lanka's most significant festivals. If you happen to be in Colombo in May, you're more than likely to see some pretty impressive festivities. 

The main event (which happens whenever the full moon occurs) is held around the Gangaramaya Temple and South Lake Beira where thousands of people congregate to celebrate. Spectacular eruptions of coloured lights and lanterns spill out from around the temple as different groups compete to display the most memorable. Dotted around the crowd are dozens of Dansala stands, which give out free food, sweet treats and cakes. Processions, dances and parades add to the sense of merriment. 

Spectacular light shows, free yummies and an inclusive, culturally warm atmosphere - Vesak Poya is the icing on the (free) cake. Accommodation books up quickly, so if you're planning on going make sure you plan well in advance. This is one party you won't want to miss.

  • Get there: Use the train to get around, the nearest stations to the temple are Kompannavidiya and Kollupitiya.
  • Stay: There are plenty of places to stay near to the temple around Colombo 10 or Colombo 11.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!