Vesak Day and Full Moon SUP Yoga Experience in Sri Lanka!
In Sri Lanka, every full moon is an official holiday! We really love the connection between nature and spirituality that every celebrates here. A couple weeks ago the full moon was extra special, because it was also Vesak Day, a holiday celebrating major milestones in the life of Buddha – basically his birth, enlightenment, and death are all celebrated on Vesak Day.
Vesak Day, also known as Vesak Poya, is one of the most important religious and cultural festivals in Sri Lanka. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of May, which is also known as the Vesak Poya day.
The celebration of Vesak in Sri Lanka is an occasion for the whole country to come together and engage in religious and cultural activities. The festivities begin a few days before the actual day, with people starting to decorate their homes and public places with colorful lights, lanterns, and Vesak flags. People also make Vesak pandals or temporary structures, which are beautifully decorated with lights and images of Buddha’s life.
On the day of Vesak, devotees wake up early in the morning and visit the nearest temple to offer prayers and offerings to Buddha. They light lamps and candles, burn incense, and make offerings of flowers and food. Monks give sermons and teachings on the life and teachings of the Buddha, and the devotees listen attentively and learn from their words.
One of the most significant events during Vesak is the perahera or procession. This is a grand parade that is organized in many cities and towns, where a replica of the Buddha’s tooth relic is taken on a decorated elephant or in a car, along with a group of traditional dancers, drummers, and flag bearers. The perahera is a beautiful spectacle, and people gather in large numbers to watch and take part in it.
Another tradition during Vesak is the practice of dana or giving, which is considered an important aspect of Buddhist teachings. People make donations to temples and other charitable organizations, and also give food and other necessities to the needy. It is a way of showing compassion and generosity, and also helps to bring the community together.
In conclusion, Vesak Day is a significant festival in Sri Lanka that celebrates the life and teachings of the Buddha. It is a time for reflection, worship, and compassion, and brings the community together in a spirit of joy and harmony. The festival is a testament to the enduring influence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and the importance of its teachings in shaping the culture and values of the country.
We also got to have a special experience for Vesak and the Full Moon, by going out to on the water with SUP Yoga Sri Lanka at Duwa Villas! They had organized a special full moon ceremony experience including meditation, pranayama, some gentle yin SUP yoga, and a letting-go ceremony out on the water. We captured a little bit of video before it got too dark to share the experience!
It started to rain a little bit while we were out on the water meditating, but the rain felt cool and nice, like the baptism of a new moon cycle! It was so peaceful to just lie on our backs on the boards, feeling the gentle motion of the water and the refreshing touch of the raindrops. What an amazing experience! We can’t wait to try more SUP Yoga in Sri Lanka!