Buddhist Traditions Celebrated in Berlin
The Embassy of Sri Lanka Celebrates the Day of VesakMay 28th, 2018
On May 4th, 2018, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin celebrated ‘Vesak’ at the City Hall in Steglitz.
One of the most important and sacred days to Buddhists around the world is the Day of Vesak, which is also known as Buddha Day. It was on this day, in 623 B.C., in which the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born. The Day of Vesak also marks the anniversary for which the Buddha attained enlightenment and passed away, albeit many years later and many years apart. The festival is celebrated during the full moon, usually in May, each year.
It is celebrated differently by each Buddhist culture, which each have their own traditions to commemorate the day. In South Korea and Indonesia, paper lanterns are commonly released while in Sri Lanka the Buddha’s life is celebrated with light displays. In areas where the Day of Vesak is celebrated, people meet in their temples for a ceremony which usually includes the raising of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns.
In Berlin, the event was orchestrated in German as an attempt to reach out to the German Buddhist Community. At the Sri Lankan Embassy, the premises were decorated with lanterns and Buddhist flags for a week to create a special atmosphere for the celebration. A commemorative sermon marked the importance of the day, and attendees participated in a meditation session. Following the program, the embassy staff prepared a traditional Sri Lankan meal.
The event in Berlin also hosted a Vesak Dansala and Bakthi Geetha in Berlin-Frohnau at the Buddhist Temple. A large number of Sri Lankans and Germans attended. This event was a collaboration with the Ambassador and the staff from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin.