LOCAL Buddhists are preparing to celebrate the most important festival in their calendar.

Vesak, the faith's new year celebration, is celebrated on full moon day in the month of May. It is called the 'Thrice-Blessed Event’ because it marks the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha, explained Jacquetta Gomes, secretary of the Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada).

Lanterns and the sharing of milk rice are traditional features of the puja, or act of worship, which is to take place at Kendal's United Reformed Church's lecture hall, off Highgate, on Saturday, May 21, at 6.50pm for 7pm.

Donations of flowers, white candles and incense would be welcomed, and people are invited to take vegetarian food and soft drinks to share.