© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Thorons and Lanterns Lanterns

Wesak Thorons & Poson Lantern Displays

During the months of Wesak (May) to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha and Poson (June), a community may organise a Thoron. These are huge elaborate structures set up on scaffolding with pictures depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. They are illuminated at night with very elaborate “festival” lights. The structure will be illuminated nightly for a week or so and every night a local dignitary will attend to turn on the lights. Groups and individuals sing songs about Buddha and families attend to admire the Thoron. There is often a fair at the entrance, where there will be many stalls selling plastic toys, light refreshments, candy floss, popcorn, spicy beans, ice cream etc. At some of the very large displays there are even fairground rides typically a roundabout and a motor cyclist on a “death” wall.

Lighting Sequences

Details from a Thoron showing scenes from Lord Buddha’s life

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These festive lighted Thorons are spectacular as are the Lantern displays shown in the LANTERNS Section. They are enjoyed and appreciated by all who typically travel around in their family groups to view these displays.