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Happy Vesak Day From Sri Lanka!

If there's one thing you need to get used to living in Sri Lanka, it is the plethora of religious fes
Living My Legend
Happy Vesak Day From Sri Lanka!
By Nico Atienza • Issue #6 • View online
If there’s one thing you need to get used to living in Sri Lanka, it is the plethora of religious festivals celebrated by many Sri Lankans of different faiths. This weekend is Vesak Day, or Buddha Day in some countries, one of the most important Buddhist celebrations celebrate the life of Gautama Buddha, the father of Buddhism.

Did you know that there are almost 500 million Buddhists around the world? 90% of them live in the Asia Pacific region. In fact, 70% of Sri Lanka’s multi-ethnic population is Buddhist!
I’m not Buddhist myself so the significance of Vesak doesn’t extend to more than a day off work (for which I’m supremely grateful!) but if there’s one thing I’m really enjoying about the occasion it is the colorful lanterns that have cropped up all over the city.
Even at our office, my co-workers were involved in a company-wide Vesak lantern competition. The fruits of their labor proudly hanging from the ceiling of many of our floors, serving as a nice change from our drab white ceiling. Some of the lanterns built were extremely intricate and ornate which really surprised me. Great job team!
Colorful lanterns hanging from our ceilings
Colorful lanterns hanging from our ceilings
How many software engineers does it take to build a lantern?
How many software engineers does it take to build a lantern?
Aside from the colorful lanterns, the occasion is also celebrated with the giving of alms by different groups of people. The alms could be meals, snacks, sweets, drinks, and other nourishments to passers by, neighbors, and the less fortunate.
Unfortunately, the last few Colombo nights have been mired with torrential downpours, which I hear is quite common on this festive weekend, so getting out to enjoy the lanterns at night has been a bit of a struggle.
I’m also a little sad that my drone is still out of commission. I would have loved to have shot some aerial footage with all of the lanterns lit up in all its glory down below.
Anyways, this won’t be my last Vesak Day in Sri Lanka so I’m not too bummed about not seeing the lanterns this time around. There’s always next year. 😁
The winning lantern from our office competition
The winning lantern from our office competition
Our lantern game is strong 💪🏼💪🏼
Our lantern game is strong 💪🏼💪🏼
All of the lights cascading down our office building
All of the lights cascading down our office building
Cheers for the weekend!
Nico
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Nico Atienza

A third culture kid discussing expat life in Sri Lanka, technology, travel, and food.

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