Sri lanka’s deep – rooted and ancient civilization has endowed the is land with a legacy of Colour functional and religious festivals. hardly a mount goes by without a unique national Or religious celebration of diverse cultures and religions, celebrated by people with a genius
For pageantry and ceremony. The full moon (poya) day of each month known by the Traditional Sinhala name is of special religious significance. the exact dates of srilanka’s Festivals change from year to year as they depend on lunar or solar phases. you may refer
To the travel lanka guide or the travel information centers of the sltb for details. sports Events in srilanka too attract fanfare. While srilanka is internationally known for sports Like cricket and athletics, an increasing array of sporting events including golf tournaments, water-sport events and motor races, horse races are becoming popular attractions in some Of the most scenic locations.
December – April
Sri pada pilgrimage season
Sri pada or adam’s peak as it is known to the westerners, is a mountain 2237,meters high situated In the south – west corner of the central highlands. Thousands of pilgrims from many faiths climb The mountain to pay homage and make observance commencing from full – moon day of april The following year. buddhists believe that it enshrines the foot print of gauthama Buddha at the Summit. Hindus , muslims , and Christians also make prilgrimage for their own religious reasons. The spectacle of sunrise from the mountain top is an unforgettable sight.
January 10th – 12th
Durutu Perahera pageant
A colourful religious pageant at the kelaniya temple 12 km away from the city of colombo. It is a Colourful procession of caparisoned elephants, torch bearers and traditional dancers.
This day commemorates the granting of independence of srilanka by the british on 04thFebruary 1948.it is a great patriotic and national occasion celebrated with colourful parades and pageants Depicting the nation’s culture and achievements.
February 11th – 12th
Navam Perehera pageant
A colourful traditional peraheraorganised by gangaramaya temple in colomboparahera the city Streets for two nights. Dances, elephants, whip crackers mahe it an unforgettable event.
April 13th& 14th
Sinhala and tamil new year
The two ethnic group in srilanka,the Sinhalese and the tamils celebrate a common traditional new Year in the month of april,originally a harvesting thanksgiving.this marks the passage of the sun From pisces to aries.traditional customs are observed on this day with merrymaking,fun and games And lavish hospitality.
Nuwaraeliya comes alive during april to entertain thousands of visitors who flock to this salubrious Hill station to avoid the heat & humidity experienced in most parts of the island during april. nuwara Eliya offers visitors numerous enjoyable events during its high season. These include the mahagastota Hill climb and redella hill climb (motor races), mount bike races, and several turf event at its race –
Course. Among them are the governor’s cup(a revival of colonial horseracing event and other races) The resort’s major horticultural events – flower and agricultural shows and garden competitions Are also schedules for april. other seasonal events include golf and tennis tournaments.live music Fiestas and dances. Nuwaraeliya has ‘mini seasons’ in august & December as well.
Vesak full moon
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 grate 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.
Poson full moon
Poson, the full-moon festival commemorates the advent of Buddhism to srilanka in the 3rd century Bc.the day is celebrated with religious observances. The centre of festivities is at mihintale (about 10 km)from Anuradhapura where the Buddhist doctrine was first preached by arahatmahinda, son Of the great emperor asoka of india. apart from religious festivals there are illuminations and Decorations and processions in various parts of the island.
July 31st-august 9th
Esala (july/august)is the season of festivals in srilanka and the full moon day of esala is the climax Of some of the festivals. the most magnificent of these festivals is the kandy esala perahera. a Spectacular medieval day pagent is held for 10 nights with kandyan dancers and drummers in Colourful traditional constumes. kandyan chieftains in medieval court dress, more than one hundred Caparisoned elephants whip crackers, torch bearers etc. it is an unforgettable experience.
July 26th-august 9th (fair walking 8th & 9th august)
The kataragama festival is another of the major esalafestivals. 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 high Lights.
August 24th – 26th
A colourful esala pageant is also held at the rajamahavihara (Buddhist temple) at bellanwila, a Southern suburb of colombo. theperahera features low – country folk dancers in addition to Kandyan dancers.
August 25th – September 1st (fair walking last 05 days)
About 75 km north of colombo (3km from chilaw) is a hindu shrine dedicated to god siva where a Colourfultample festival with fire walking takes place during the easla festival time. This is a popular Pilgrim centre for both hindus and Buddhists.
Some of colombo’s main streets take on a festival atmosphere in august where the capital’s main
Hindu festival takes place and ornately decorated vel chariot makes its annual trip carrying the
Weapons of god skanda from one temple to another.
August 5th – 9th (fair walking 8th& 9th Aug.)
Four miles west of the colombo / puttalam highway between mudal lake and the sea is the fishing Village of udappu. the festival is centered in and around the kovil dedicated to goddess drupadi. Men , women & children tread the hot coals at the fire walking ceremony in the belief that goddess Drupadi’s flowing hair will protect them from harm.
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.
Sangamitta day –(unduwap full moon) this day marks the historic event of bringing aspaling Of the sacred Bo –tree under which gauthama Buddha attained enlightenment inindia by Arahattherisangamitta, sister of arahatmahinda and daughter of emperor asoka.
December 25th – Christmas
The Christmas day is celebrated by the Christian community insrilanka on this day.