The Vietnamese community in Sri Lanka, including many Buddhist students, is joining a lantern festival in the capital city of Colombo to celebrate Lord Buddha’s 2557th birth anniversary.

The lantern festival, the biggest among a series of activities held in Sri Lanka on this occasion, is taking place at Gangaramaya Pagoda from May 25-29.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Sri Lankan Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs D.M. Jayaratne expressed his delight at the participation of 115 delegations, including Vietnam, saying that it helps create a cultural diversity for this year’s festival.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to religious freedom and encourages religious and cultural exchanges with other countries, including Sri Lanka.

Joining the festival for the first time, Vietnam introduces to visitors large-sized lanterns featuring Vietnam’s One-Pillar Pagoda and Lotus Flower, which draw much attention from local and foreign visitors.-VNA