Vesak is the most important day in the Buddhist calendar, marks commemoration of Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away. World Buddhist leaders have agreed to hold the UN International Vesak Festival in Sri Lanka from May 11 to 13, 2017. This United Nations Day of Vesak is celebrated annually in Buddhist countries. This is the first time Sri Lanka has been given the opportunity to host this festival.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Justice and Buddhasasana, the inauguration of the 14th UN Vesak day will take place at the BMICH with President Maithripala Sirisena, Indian President Narendra Modi and a host of other national and international delegates participating. Over 2000 delegates including Buddhist and political leaders from several countries will attend the event.
On May 11 at 7 pm the festival will be launched at the special Vesak zone at Diyawanna near the Parliament complex.
The concluding ceremony will take place at the Sri Dalada Maligawa premises in Kandy. Minister Rajapakshe on behalf of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made an official request from the UN Vesak Committee at the last UN Vesak day held in Thailand for the hosting of the festival in Sri Lanka in 2017.
The UN General Assembly in 1999 declared an “International Day of Observance for Vesak” — on the initiative of the then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.
UNITED NATIONS VESAK DAY 2017
Theme: Buddhist Teachings for Social Justice and Sustainable World Peace
Read more from official website:
Buddhism- A Living Tradition in Sri Lanka
A video by UN Vesak 2017
Indian Express: PM to visit Sri Lanka on May 11 to attend Vesak Day
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Sri Lanka on May 11 to attend the biggest Buddhist festival, ‘Vesak Day’. The ‘International Day of Vesak’ celebrations, to be held in Colombo from May 12 to 14, will include an International Buddhist Conference in which over 400 delegates from more than 100 countries will participate.