Celebrating Vesak 2019 on a digital scale

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It’s one of the holiest and most treasured celebrations in Sri Lankan history. Commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. On Vesak day, Buddhists all over the world celebrate these significant events by going to the temple, observing Sil, and taking part in other religious and sacred activities. So what happened for Vesak 2019?

Dialog’s Digital Vesak 2019

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The Digital Vesak Zone by Dialog had a number of interesting attributes to it

Dialog pretty much went all out for Vesak 2019. Called Dialog Digital Vesak, this was website that users could visit and experience the Vesak celebrations. One really cool feature that we liked was for Vesak lanterns and Pandols. While the content itself was artfully made, the Vesak lanterns and pandols could actually be viewed in 360-degrees.

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Vieweing Vesak Lanterns in 360-degrees

All you had to do was simply hold down the mouse button and drag the cursor either left, right, up or down. Adding to the mood was background music that could be muted if needed. An added feature that we also found pretty cool was that both lanterns and Pandols could be viewed via Google Cardboard or similar headsets. This was obviously meant for mobile use. It also meant that the user was able to look around freely and enjoy the scenery. Adding an extra touch, the content was also available in upto 4K resolution.

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There was also a fully-fledged Vesak Lantern competition

In addition, Dialog Digital Vesak 2019 also had a lantern competition. Here, you could upload images of the decorations you had made for Vesak and stand a chance to win attractive prizes. You could also send Vesak greetings to your loved ones in the form of an e-card. Simply fill in the recipient’s name, and email address followed by your own details, and type a message and you were done.

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Encouraging good thoughts was also part of Dialog’s Digital Vesak Zone

There were also a number of videos by Buddhist monks who spoke about reflections to think about for Vesak 2019. Lastly, devotees and anyone interested could also watch Vesak Bakthi Gee sung by staff members of Dialog in Sri Lanka

Lighting up Sri Lanka during dark times with SurfEdge

There’s no doubt that the Easter Sunday attacks that took place a few weeks ago have shaken all of us. Almost 300 people lost their lives due to a coordinated terrorist attack that also left hundreds more injured.

In order to pay tribute to the loved ones that were lost, SurfEdge organized Light Up Sri Lanka. A non-profit platform, Light Up Sri Lanka was made available to the general public on the 18th of May 2019 as part of Vesak 2019.

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Here, users who visit the site are given an overview of Sri Lanka via Google Maps. The objective here was to light a virtual oil lamp at the user’s preferred location such as a home, school or workplace. Once the location is selected, you would be able to type a personalized message. The message would be posted either via your Facebook or Google login credentials so that others can see the message as well.

The goal of Light Up Sri Lanka was to light one million virtual oil lamps within a few days of the launch of the site. Thus far, over 2,600 virtual oil lamps have been lit. If you too would like to be a part of this initiative, we would encourage you to light a lamp as well.

Ceyentra also wants to light a lamp in the dark

Ceyentra, a technology providing company in Sri Lanka also contributed to Vesak 2019. Similar to how Light Up Sri Lanka functioned, Ceyentra too offered a virtual oil lamp. Users would be required to log in using either their Facebook or Google accounts. Once signed in, you could place one of these lamps anywhere in Sri Lanka.

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Ceyentra also has similar plans to light up Vesak during these dark times

In addition to placing a lamp at a preferred location, you were also given the ability to upload a photo of any lanterns or pandols or similar décor done to celebrate Vesak 2019. A counter on the right side of the web page shows you how many lamps have been lit. The button below that allows you to see all the images of lamps lit for Vesak 2019.

While it did seem that Vesak celebrations were a tad low key due to the prevailing situation in the country, it is indeed heartwarming to see efforts by parties to shine a light in the darkness. We commend these parties for their support as well.

Did you see any companies taking steps to celebrate Vesak 2019? We would love to hear your experience.

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