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Festivals

 

View Sri Lanka Calander For Exact Dates

  • January

    Thai Pongal Festival

    The rich Thai Pongal Festival celebrated by the Hindu communities of Sri Lanka. The Thai Pongal day normally falls between 12th and 15th of the month of January in the Christian calendar.The houses are decorated in colourful kolam, which is a difficult drawing done on the floors using flour. Special Pujas (prayer ceremonies) are held in Kovils to worship the Sun God. It is customary to cook the Pongal meal and share it with neighbors, especially non-hindus.

    The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal is a thanks giving ceremony in which the farmers celebrate the event to thank the spirits of nature spirit, the Sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest

    Duruthu perahera Pageant(January 18th -19th)

    A Colorful religious pageant at Kelaniya Temple 12kms away from Colombo city.

  • February

    Independence Day

    1948 February 4th the country achieved its independence to officially become the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The independence day of Sri Lanka is a great national occasion celebrated with parades and pageants combined with the spirit of patriotism and national pride. The celebrations begin with the hoisting of the national flag and singing the national anthem, followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony. Subsequently there are various cultural programs as well as serving of refreshments.  There are many celebrations around the country on this special holiday and the main one is usually in Parliamentary grounds in Sri Jayawardhanapura and Galle Face Colombo is attended by politicians, diplomats etc.

    Gangaramaya Navam Perahera

    The Navam Perahera, held annually in February, demonstrate the rich religious and cultural tradition of Sri Lanka. Youth clad in white carrying Buddhist flags march in front. Sacred relics housed in a casket are carried by a majestic elephant on its back. Dancers display the different types of dances reprinting in different parts of the country. Drummers who exhibit their skill in handling numerous forms of drums. Many elephants also participate.All visitors to the Capital during this period can experience the perahera and witness Gangaramaya Navam Perahera

  • March

    No Special Event
  • April

    Sinhala and Tamil New Year

    Sinhala Avurudda dawns when the Sun moves from Meena Rashiya to Mesha Rashiya completing a cycle of a twelve-month period. The transition time know as “Sanskranthi” takes place on April 13 or 14. It is during this period that some of the rituals are performed to mark this important event of the year.

  • May

    Vesak Full Moon Poya Day / Festival of Light

    Vesak is a thrice blessed day for Buddhists throughout the world. It commemorates the birth of Prince Siddhartha, his attaining enlightenment and passing way into Nibbana as. Gauthama Buddha. It is a day of great sanctity devoted to religious observances and charity. The day is also celebrated with festivity with numerous colorful decorations and illuminations, pandals and pageants. Wayside stalls distribute food and refreshments to the pilgrims and passers by.

  • June

    Poson Full Moon Poya Day

    Poson, the full-moon festival commemorates the advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. The day is celebrated with religious observances. The centre of festivities is at Mihintale (about 10km) from Anuradhapura where the Buddhist doctrine was first preached by Arahat Mahinda, son of the great Emperor Asoka of India. Apart from religious festivals there are illuminations and decorations and procession in various parts of the island.

  • July

    Kandy Esala Perahera

    July 4th – 14th Aug. Kandy Esala Perahera
    The most magnificent of these festivals is the Kandy Esala Perahera. A spectacular medieval day pageant is held for 10 nights with Kandyan dancers and Drummers in colorful traditional consumes. Kandyan Chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc. It is a unforgettable experience. The most magnificent of these festivals is Kandy Esala Perahera. A spectacular medieval day pageant is held for 10 nights with Kandyan dancers and Drummers in colorful traditional costumes. Kandyan Chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc. It is an unforgettable experience.

    1st July – 16th July. Kataragama Festival

    The Kataragama festival is a major Esala Festival. Kataragama in the south-East corner of the island is a jungle shrine dedicated to God Skanda and is a popular pilgrim centre for Buddhists and Hindus, Fire walking and the annual perahera in July/August are some of its highlights.

  • August

    Kandy Esala Perahera.. Continue from July

    The most magnificent of these festivals is the Kandy Esala Perahera. A spectacular medieval day pageant is held for 10 nights with Kandyan dancers and Drummers in colorful traditional consumes. Kandyan Chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc. It is a unforgettable experience. The most magnificent of these festivals is Kandy Esala Perahera. A spectacular medieval day pageant is held for 10 nights with Kandyan dancers and Drummers in colorful traditional costumes. Kandyan Chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc. It is an unforgettable experience.

    Nallur Festival – Jaffna (August 4th – 29th)

    The larges Hindu temple festival in Jaffna. It is a major highlight of socio, cultural and religious spirit of Jaffna society. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (temple) is one of the most important temples in the Jaffna peninsul. The presiding deity is Lord Muruga. Chariot Festival on the 27th Aug

  • September

    No Special Event
  • October

    No Special Event
  • November

    Deepavali: Festival of Lights

    The festival of lights celebrated by all Hindus. Hindu homes are lit up at night, new clothes worn, homes spring cleaned and all Hindus purify themselves with an oil bath. Illuminations are designed to welcome Lakshmi.

  • December

    December 10th

    Sangamitta day- (Unduwap Full Moon)

    This day marks the historic event of bringing a Sapling of the sacred Bo-tree under which Gauthama Buddha attained enlightenment in India by Arahat Their sangamitta, sister of Arahat Mahinda and daughter of Emperor Asoka.

    December 25th – Christmas

    The

    Christmas day

    is celebrated by the Christian community in Sri Lanka on this day.

View Sri Lanka Calander For Exact Dates

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