5 Festivals Not to Miss in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country with many festivals. Most of them are Buddhist festivals where the Srilankan traditions are well exposed. Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivals too are celebrated in Srilanka, showcasing the ethnic unity and the harmony of the people. All the festivals are public Holidays in Sri Lanka and this allows the people to celebrate these festivals in style. Srilanka has over 30 public Holidays and most of them are to, celebrate the Festivals. Out of the many festivals we have, we have picked the top five and listed them below.


Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations

.New Year

This is by far the most popular festival celebrated in Sri Lanka. The traditional Srilankan New Year arrives on the 14th of April at the given auspicious time by the Astrologist which varies every year. All the traditional food and sweets made over the New Year is a key feature in the celebrations. Every one join in the traditional Srilankan games making it a fun event. This is the family time for Srilankans and most families get together leaving big cities like Colombo deserted. The instrumental factor of the celebrations is the pre-determined auspicious times for activities such as the first meal, first bath, first day to work or school etc of the New Year prolonging the celebrations for about a week.

Vesak Poya

This is called the festival of light or the festival of enlightenment. This falls on the full moon day of the month of May to commemorate the Birth, Enlightenment and passing away of Buddha. The whole Country will be illuminated with colourful pandalls and lanterns. People travel around for days sightseeing enjoying the so much varied art work. The temples get very busy with people dressed in white offering flowers and lighting oil lamps.

Vel Festival

  This is a Hindu festival that is held in July /August. The event exhibits Hinduism's rich cultural and religious legacy. The celebrations mainly take place in Colombo where pilgrims gather for the procession. You hear the sound of drums from a distance, smell the burning incense, chants, and colourful dances in their vibrant costumes parading the streets of Colombo. The celebrations honour the defeat of bad forces and evil . The Vel festival is dedicated to God Skandha, The God of victory.

Kandy Esala Perahera

This is by far the most popular event for Tourists. This procession is claimed to be the largest unpaid procession in Asia. There are colourful dances , over 50 Elephants , Drummers and temple officials walking in the procession that will fill the streets of Kandy in the central hills of Srilanka. There are self-mortification activities such as walking of fire, hanging on hooks etc. This festival is held to pay homage to the Tooth relic of Buddha that starts ten days before the full moon day of August and finishes on the full moon day.

Maha Shivarathri

This festival is been held to celebrate the marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati and is an important for Hindus. . This festival takes place in March and there are many traditions that are followed by the devotees during the festival People come to temples in bright and vibrant dress for the event. This festival is mainly focused on the spiritual attributes. Above are a few of many festivals SriLankans celebrate. Within your holiday of two weeks, there is every chance that you could experience a festival as we have that many. Visit Srilanka and we will tell you more about Srilanka when you are here. Book with us right now!

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