(also bodhi tree)
A fig tree native to India and SE Asia, regarded as sacred by Buddhists. Also called peepul or pipal.
- Ficus religiosa, family Moraceae.
- Theravada Buddhism (one of two types of Buddhism) was introduced to Sri Lanka in the third century B.C. from India, when a branch of the sacred bo tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment was brought to the island.
- First they offer fragrant flowers (lotus lily and frangipani) at the different Buddhas, then they offer tiny clay lamps burning with coconut oil and finally they chant their thanksgiving quietly under the bo tree.
- Sometimes police sentries have been placed to protect bo trees from popular vandalism.
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