Is Sri Lanka the Only Country Providing Free  Food During Vesak?

Misleading Social

Subscribe to our WhatsApp Channel

In Sri Lanka, “Dansel” refers to a community or privately organized event where free food is distributed to anyone, regardless of status. This practice is especially prominent during Vesak and is a significant cultural and religious tradition. Individuals, communities, and organizations organize these events to embody the Buddhist virtue of generosity. In this article, we search whether similar events are happening in other Buddhist countries, such as Vesak.

Social Media Posts 

 Sri Lanka is the only country in the world where everyone receives free unlimited food during Vesak, an event known as ” Dansel.”

FB | Archived 

We decided to do a fact check to see if Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that provides free food to lay people in Vesak.

Fact Check 

Vesak, also known as Buddha Purnima, is a significant religious festival that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. The celebration dates vary across countries, typically in April, May, or June. The tradition of offering food during Vesak exists in several Buddhist-majority countries, though the scale and specific customs differ.


Thailand celebrates Vesak in May, and the Buddhist population is around 90%. Thai people engage in various religious activities such as visiting temples, offering flowers to Buddha, and giving alms to monks. Additionally, food is distributed in almshouses, which faithful Buddhists, companies, and communities set up. These almshouses provide free meals to everyone, not just during Vesak but on other special occasions as well. Fact Crescendo Thailand team confirmed these details. Details about such an almshouse established in the Covid period can be read here. A Video about providing food can be watched here

Below is another video of food being provided to lay people on Vesak (Thai people celebrated it on May 22 this year).

South Korea

In South Korea, Vesak is typically celebrated in April. Temples, often located in mountainous regions, host various events like mask dances, traditional games, and acrobatic shows. Visitors can participate in these activities and enjoy free food such as bibimbap, a traditional rice dish, and tea the temples provide. More details can be read here. Archived.

A video of this event, videographed by a foreigner can be watched below.


While Myanmar does not have “damsel” events similar to those in Sri Lanka during Vesak, it has comparable practices during the Myanmar New Year in April and November. These events, organized by wealthy individuals, companies, or community organizations, involve distributing free food to the public. Fact Crescendo Myanmar team confirmed the details. A related video can be watched below.

Nepal and India

In Nepal and India, where Hinduism is the majority religion, Buddha Purnima is still revered. People donate kheer, a traditional rice pudding, to people experiencing poverty. However, such practices are limited to specific regions and are not as widespread or organized as the damsel events in Sri Lanka. Fact Crescendo India Team confirmed those details. Details about such a food offering event that happened in India(near Sanchi Stupa) for Buddha Purnima can be read here.


In Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist country, food offerings to people experiencing poverty occur during Buddha Purnima. However, these events are not as extensive or systematically organized as the Dansel in Sri Lanka. Fact Crescendo Cambodia Team confirmed.

   Follow us and stay up to date with our latest fact checks.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google News | TikTok 


While Sri Lanka’s Dansel events during Vesak are unique in their scale and organization, distributing free food during religious festivals is common in several Buddhist-majority countries and some Hindu countries. Thailand, South Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, India, and Cambodia all have traditions of offering food to the public during Vesak or other significant religious occasions. Thus, the claim that Sri Lanka is the only country where free unlimited food is provided during Vesak is misleading.


Title:Is Sri Lanka the Only Country Providing Free Food During Vesak?

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: Misleading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *