Sri Lanka is truly beautiful land blessed with many gifts. On one hand are the valuable blessings that have been freely gifted by Mother Nature. On the other, is the unique cultural splendour created by many races and religions living together in harmony. While all this gives Sri Lanka its own authentic appeal, it also makes sure that the island is never short of reasons to celebrate. As you plan your holiday to Sri Lanka you might want to find out about what festivities take place during your time of visit so you too can be a part of these vibrant celebrations. This way you can get a sense and feel of what it is like to be truly Sri Lankan.
- January to March
We Sri Lankans are a lucky bunch who get to enjoy a day off on full moon Poya days that dawn every month. These Poya days are significant as each of them mark an important event in Buddhism. While this is a day assigned for spiritual practices and religious observances some of these events are celebrated as vibrant festivities.
The month of January begins with the Duruthu Poya and is often the time when the Kelaniya Raja Maha Perahera takes place. This is a perfect time to book one of our home stays in Kelaniya so you can catch a glimpse of these amazing celebrations.
If you plan to enjoy a relaxing holiday in one of our budget hotels in Galle during this time, be sure not to miss out on the Fairway Galle Literary Festival where local and international wordsmiths gather for a remarkable celebration of all the finest works of art.
Fourth of February marks Sri Lanka’s independence and is another magnificent occasion filled with dances, parades and celebrations that is a perfect demonstration of the unity of the Sri Lankan people.
- April to June
As this season dawns, the entire island revs up the festive mood to celebrate one of longest festive seasons of the year, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Be prepared to be greeted by super happy natives who will most certainly invite you to indulge in some delicious (and somewhat oily) traditional treats such as kevum, kokis and much more. As you hear the beating sounds of drums and crackers exploding in the streets you will not be able to resist the urge to take part in traditional games at Avurudu Uthsawayas held in almost every part of the country.
Just as you think the celebrations are dying down, the full moon Poya of May or Vesak dawns. Celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha the entire country lights up signifying yet another event you simply cannot miss. Almost every home is decorated with colourful Vesak lanterns and you will be able to witness massive pandals (large decorated screens depicting a scene of life of the Buddha) in most parts of the country.
- July to September
There is virtually no end to the magnificent cultural displays you can witness in Sri Lanka and this period of the year is no exception. During this time you can enjoy many festivals like the famous Kandy Esala Perahera and Kataragama Festival.
If you happen to be staying in one of our featured hotels in and around Colombo you could even enjoy the Vel festival that travels along the Galle Road.
August is also famous as the kite season. It is remarkable to see even the smallest child proudly fly their little kite, contributing to the massive number of colourful kites that decorate the skies wherever you go.
- October to December
As the end of the year approaches more celebrations unfold. Several festivals like Deepavali and Haj are celebrated by the respective religious communities allowing others to learn much about their significance and join in the festivities. Christmas is another widely celebrated holiday in the country. During this time shop fronts and even non-Christian households are decorated with colourful Christmas trees and other beautiful festive decor.
What is your favourite time to travel to Sri Lanka?