Vesak Day celebrations in Cairo | Sunday Observer

Vesak Day celebrations in Cairo

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Cairo celebrated the Day of Vesak on April 29, at the Embassy premises with the participation of the Sri Lankan community, foreign diplomats and officials representing Missions of Buddhist countries. Ven Ambanpola Gnanathusitha Thero was invited from Sri Lanka with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment to conduct the program.

This was the first time the Embassy of Sri Lanka has organized an event of “Sath Budu Vandanawa” for a poya day. Seven Buddha statues were especially brought from Sri Lanka, for the event. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Egypt Ramiah Yogarajan had taken great pains to make the event colourful. The program commenced with an offering of milk rice (kiri ahara poojawa) to the Buddha statues and the observance of Ata Sil, followed by Dhamma Sermons, and Gilanpasa pooja. The mid-day alms for those who observed sil was offered by the Sri Lankan community in Cairo.

Parallel to the sil campaign, a “Soft drink Dansala” had been organized by the Sri Lankan expatriate community while the Embassy organized a blood donation camp at the Embassy premises.

The evening session consisted of Dhamma sermons in English and Sath Budu Vandana Pooja, conducted by Ven Ambanpola Gnanathusitha Thero for foreign diplomats and officials from the Embassies of Nepal, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Foreign dignitaries joined the celebrations by illuminating Vesak lanterns and lighting oil lamps.

Both, the Embassy and the Official Residence of the Ambassador were decorated with Buddhist flags, white lights, oil lamps and colourful Vesak lanterns made by the Lankan community, and the Embassy staff.

The final item was the singing of “Bakthi Geetha” by the Embassy staff and members of the Sri Lankan community. Mrs. Mandara Yogarajan also joined in the singing of “Bakthi Geetha”.

The celebrations concluded with a dinner organized by the Sri Lankan expatriate community.