At the start of the month of May, take in the International Labor Day celebrations as the community takes to the streets in Colombo is a marked as of one of the country’s most political days.
Apart from political events May is a holy day for Buddhists as the Vesak full moon day is a celebration of Buddhism as it commemorates the day, which Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and passed on. The entire country lights up their houses and streets with bright lanterns and magnificently lit cut-outs whilst recounting Lord Buddha’s journeys and stories. The country is ablaze with the various lantern festivals whilst temples become a hive of activity with the followers flocking to pray on this religious day.
Mahaweli River Expedition (Journeyed by Kayaks & Canoes)
The 335km long Mahaweli is Sri Lanka’s longest river. This wilderness adventure, journeyed by kayaks and canoes, is a 50km, 3 night and 4 day paddling trip through the untainted Wasgamuwa National Park, located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. It begins 20km downstream from the town of Mahiyanganaya and ends near to Manampitiya. The park is home to large herds of wild elephants and a rich and diverse birdlife. It’s quite likely that you will spot some crocs sunning themselves on the banks of the river on certain stretches, so the trip is not for the faint hearted! All your equipment, food and drink, as well as all safety equipment will be provided.
The expedition is hosted by Wade Campbell and his team of experienced river guides. This is generally a flat water expedition however there are a couple of Class I and II rapids to navigate which will add to the excitement. No prior experience is necessary, but participants must have a reasonable level of fitness and be willing to pitch in with camp set up, as well as cooking and cleaning and packing up camp each morning. This trip will offer participants a chance to learn many new skills, such as how to read the river, some gentle whitewater paddling, wilderness camping and safety. The journey is an epic and unique experience in Sri Lanka. – BOOK NOW.
Vesak Week (By Motor-Bikes)
In Vesak Season in Sri Lanka, electrically lit Vesak pandols called toranas are erected in various locations in Colombo and elsewhere, most sponsored by donors, religious societies and welfare groups. Each pandol illustrates a story from the 550 Jathaka Katha or the 550 Past Life Stories of the Buddha. While watching illuminated thoranas the recitation of Sinhala verses to the beat of the rabanas throughout the night became popular.
Vesak lanterns called Vesak koodu are lit in most of the homes in Sri Lanka on Vesak poya day. The lighting signifies an offering to the memory of the Buddha who delivered the message of Dhamma. In ancient times, people used their clay oil lamps for illumination. When candles became popular, colourful lanterns were made in different shapes and used to be lit with these new modes of illumination. Many associations arrange to hold an exhibition of paintings or competition on Vest lanterns. The winners are awarded valuable prizes.
Tour Dates: 14th – 16th May 2014 – BOOK NOW