Vesak the festival of lights in Sri Lanka
Vesak lanterns called Vesak koodu are lit in most of the homes in Sri Lanka on Vesak poya day. The lighting signifies an offering to the memory of the Buddha who delivered the message of Dhamma. In ancient times, people used their clay oil lamps for illumination. When candles became popular, colourful lanterns were made in different shapes and used to be lit with these new modes of illumination. Many associations arrange to hold an exhibition of paintings or competition on Vest lanterns. The winners are awarded valuable prizes.