Vesak lights up the sky in Havana

Vesak lights up the sky in Havana

 Lighting_the_lamp

The “Festival of Lanterns and Illuminations” organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Havana on the occasion of Vesak was held from 20th – 30th May 2016 at the Sri Lankan Embassy premises in Havana for the 4th consecutive year.

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This year’s Vesak festival was inaugurated on 20th May 2016 with the participation of Sri Lankan students, members of the Sri Lankan community and a two member Sri Lanka Medical Council delegation led by Prof. Narada Warnasuriya. After paying homage to Buddha, the embassy staff, joined by students recited Vesak Bakthi Gee and devotional songs in praise of Buddha.

The members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior officials of the Cuban Government, well-wishers and friends graced the Vesak celebrations on 21st May 2016. Delivering the welcome speech, Ambassador Sarath Dissanayake appreciated the presence of a large diverse gathering of guests belonging to different religious, culturral, social and geographical backgrounds which, he said was a reflection of their tolerance and understanding of different faiths and ideologies. It was also noted that Buddha’s teachings and his philosophy are quite relevant and useful in resolving and finding solutions to complex issues facing the world today. At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, the traditional oil lamp was lit by a cross section of guests representing all religious denominations. The guests were treated to vegetarian snacks and short eats.

The 3rd day of Vesak celebrations saw the attendance of yet another group of well-wishers and friends who expressed their immense pleasure for the warm welcome and hospitality extended. They specially thanked the Embassy staff for the unique opportunity afforded to witness a festival that they have not seen or heard before.

The 10 - day Vesak festival became a star attraction to thousands of others who frequently use the main street along which the Embassy is located. The successful display  of  many facets of Buddhist decorations depicting Buddha’s life and significant land mark events in Buddhist calendar were well received by many Cuban people who, also appreciated the colorful  display of pandols, vesak lanterns, illuminations and colorful decorations in Cuba.

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Embassy of Sri Lanka
Havana, Cuba


02 May 2016

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