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Premlanka Hotel
Dickwella Beach, Southern Sri Lanka

Vesak (or Wesak) & Poson Festivals (May/June)

Beliatta Thoron, Sri Lanka Beliatta Fairground, Sri Lanka

Beliatta, near Dickwella, usually has a beautiful Thoron. Families come from miles around to marvel at it and to visit the nearby fairground with its variety of stalls.

Vesak is the most important Buddhist poya: Thrice blessed day for Buddhists throughout the world; Commemorates the birth of Prince Siddhartha, his attaining enlightenment and passing away into Nibbana (Nirvana) as Gauthama Buddha. Also celebrates the Buddha's third legendary visit to Sri Lanka. It is a day of great sanctity devoted to religious observances and charity. Devout Buddhists fast, meditate and visit temples. Vesak marks the end of the Adam's Peak pilgrimage season.

The day is also celebrated with festivity, with colourful decorations, illuminations and pageants. Buses and cars are decorated with streamers. Decorative lanterns are hung in front of houses and huge panels decorated with scenes from the life of the Buddha – pandals (thorana), – are erected. After dark, many of these pandals are transformed by thousands of coloured light-bulbs, programmed to display complicated sequences of traditional patterns. Wayside stalls distribute food and refreshments to the pilgrims and passers by.

Poson is second in importance only to Vesak poya: It marks the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. The day is celebrated with religious observances and festivals, especially at Mihintale, about 10km east of the ancient northern city of Anuradhapura, where the Buddhist doctrine was first preached by Arahat Mahinda, son of the great Emperor Ashoka of India. Apart from religious festivals there are illuminations and decorations and processions in various parts of the island.

During this period, many people hang elaborate, decorative lanterns outside their houses. The lanterns at Beliatta, near Dickwella are usually very impressive.

Ambalantota Thoron, Sri Lanka Hambantota Thoron, Sri Lanka

Ambalantota & Hambantota Thorons 2005.

Dickwella is a coastal market town, between Matara and Tangalle; Sometimes spelt Dikwella or Dikwalle; Also called Dikwella South.

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