With its ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, Sri Lanka presents to the world a multifaceted colorful & lively array of festivals enriched by traditions & the country’s colonial past.
A popular religious & cultural event held in January which is organized by the Kelaniya Temple.
“Thai Pongal”, an important event in the Hindu religious calendar is celebrated by Hindus across the world. Thai Pongal is a thanksgiving ceremony where Hindus offer prayers of gratitude to the Sun God for bountiful harvest & also pay tribute to the farm animals that helped them in cultivation.
Aluth Sahal Mangallaya
In the month of January “Aluth Sahal Mangallaya” or festival of new rice, is conducted in hill country where the farmers bring part of their new harvest to offer to the Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic in a traditional procession.
Galle Literary Festival
Each year usually in the month of January, poets, writers & literacy enthusiasts from all parts of the world converge to the historic Galle Fort for the celebration of writing, photography music, ecology architecture & cuisine at the annual “Galle Literary Festival”. It is an excellent opportunity for relaxation, reading, networking & sharing ideas.
Independence Day Celebrations
Every year the country celebrates “Independence Day on the 4th of February to mark independence from the colonial rulers. The independence Day of Sri Lanka is a great national occasion celebrated with parades and pageants combined with the spirit of patriotism & national pride.
The “Navam Perahera of the Gangaramaya Temple” is one of the most colorful & prestigious Buddhist cultural pageants held in Sri Lanka. This grand parade, a spectacle of dance & music is organized by the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo.
This Hindu festival is celebrated on the 14th night of the New moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna from the Hindu lunar calendar which corresponds to the months of February & March in English calendar. It is a night dedicated to worship Lord Shiva one of the deities of Hindu Trinity.
Muslims all over the world including Sri Lanka observe Milad un-Nabi which commemorates the birth and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Big Match Season
Dawn of March marks the beginning of the big match season for cricket lovers in Sri Lanka as several leading schools in the country have their annual cricket encounters with their traditional main rivals.
Sinhalese & Tamil New Year Celebrations- On the 13th & 14th of April when the sun Moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) Sri Lankans begin to celebrate their National New Year celebrations which is referred to as “Aluth Avurudu” in Sinhala & “Puththandu” in Tamil. It is an occasion of immense joy & happiness celebrated throughout the country by both Sinhala Buddhist & Tamil Hidu communities. The activities revolve around the age old traditions & it is an excellent opportunity to experience the cultural values inherent in society.
Easter Sunday celebrations in the month of April are among of the oldest & most important festivals for Christians & Catholics. It is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead & Christians & Catholics in Sri Lanka celebrate Easter with great festivity.
‘Vesak’ is the biggest festival in Sri Lanka. Buddhists all over the World celebrate the triple anniversaries of the lord Buddha namely; the birth, the enlightenment, and the Pari – Nirvana on the full moon day of the month of May.
The Poson festival, typically held on the full moon day in the month of June, celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Mihintale & Anuradhapura are the main centers of activity during the Poson festival today.
The Esala Perahera is the most spectacular & most awaited religious & cultural pageant in Sri Lanka held during the months of July & August in the beautiful hill country capital Kandy. During the festive season, fire juggling, acrobats, banners, beautifully decorated & neon lit elephants, traditional dancers, musicians, palanquins, whip crackers & thousands of barefoot pilgrims, swordsmen & chieftains in traditional costumes parade the street for 10 consecutive days in honor of the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
The Kataragama festival is a popular annual event in Sri Lanka that takes place in late July or early August during the full moon at Kataragama in the Deep South which is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka venerated not only by Hindus, Buddhists & Muslims but also by the indigenous Veddah community. completely exhausted.
Adi Vel Festival of Colombo
Adi Vel festival is a grand Hindu festival celebrated by The Tamil community in Sri Lanka in honor of Lord Murugan to commemorate his victory over the forces of evil.
Munneswaram is regarded as one of the oldest Hindu temples in the island Munneswaram was one of the places instructed by Lord Siva, Koneswaram & Thiruketheeswaram being the other two. The main Hindu festivals celebrated annually at the Munneswaram temple include Navarathri & Sivarathri.
Hikkaduwa Beach Festival
Each year usually in the month of July or August thousands flock to the town of Hikkaduwa in the South of Sri Lanka to attend one of the largest beach festivals of its kind in Asia. The Hikkaduwa beach festival that lasts for about five days attracts both young & old from all parts of the country which also gives a unique opportunity for tourists.
Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan in September with family gatherings & meals. Ramadan also known as “Ramazan” & Eid festival is one of the most important feasts for the Muslims.
Colombo Art Biennale
Colombo Art Biennale is a gathering of artists & art lovers held annually in Sri Lanka. The intention is to bring artists together to work in pursuit of harmony offering a great opportunity for art lovers all over the world to gather into Colombo.
World Spice Food Festival
The annual world spice food festival is organized by Sri Lanka Tourism in collaboration with Colombo city hotels providing an ideal opportunity for tourists on transit or holidaying in Sri Lanka to experience a variety of delectable cuisine not only from Sri Lanka but also from a number of other countries such as India, South America, South Africa Malaysia, Indonesia, Italy, Vietnam, Pakistan, China, Spain, Singapore & Middle East.
Deepawali is one of the most glamorous & important. Also known as the festival of lights, “Diwali Festival” takes place in late October or early November. Thousands of oil lamps, will be lit to celebrate the victory of good over evil, light over darkness & knowledge over ignorance.
Sri Lanka Design Festival
Sri Lanka design festival is a popular event dedicated to Position Sri Lanka as a green destination & a regional creative hub while highlighting local creative talent to a global audience. The exhibits on display are usually a fusion of tradition & modernity & reflect the beauty & uniqueness of Sri Lanka’s raditional artistry.
Christmas is a grand celebration eagerly awaited by everyone irrespective of religion. Preparations are made in advance several weeks before the Christmas Day. Streets, stores & hotel lobbies are decorated with festive Christmas decorations & almost every company organizes a grand Christmas party for the families of their employees.