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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Festivals of Sri Lanka – Experiencing a Colourful Culture
Joanna James Joanna James
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Festivals of Sri Lanka – Experiencing a Colourful Culture

A nation made up of several religions and races, Sri Lanka flaunts a mosaic of cultures making it a vibrant and festive nation year round. Here are some of the most celebrated events in the calendar.


Duruthu Poya

Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrate the full moon and like a monthly visitor, Poya Day is commemorated no matter which month it falls on. The Duruthu Poya, however, is particularly significant because it marks Lord Buddha's momentous visit to this beautiful island. Buddhism dawned on Sri Lanka on Duruthu Poya and to this day Buddhists from all over the island remember and celebrate this momentous occasion.


Thai Pongal

The diversity in the festivals of Sri Lanka is perhaps one of its most attractive features. If you are visiting the country in January don't miss colourful Thai Pongal. This harvest festival is celebrated by the Sri Lankan Tamils and is an expression of gratitude to Surya. Plenty of dance and the famous Pukka rice is all part of the Thai Pongal celebrations.


Good Friday

This is one festival that is internationally renowned for it is celebrated by Christians from all over the world. The Sri Lankans Christians also observe Good Friday in such a manner. Good Friday commemorates when Jesus Christ sacrificed his life on the cross of Calvary for the sins of his people.


Sinhala and Tamil New Year

This festival is by far the most celebrated event in the whole calendar for it is something common for both the Sinhala and Tamil races; the two races that make up the majority of the island. This traditional New Year features a long line of traditions and rituals both of which have a fun as well as a spiritual element to it. No matter what tours in Sri Lanka you plan on undertaking, if it falls somewhere in the middle of April don't miss out on taking part in the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities. To make sure you cover the best of the island's traditions you may choose travel agents like Aitken Spence Travels for instance. That way you can ensure you experience all the fun and festivity.



The holy month of Ramadan goes on for a good full month and on the end of this month, the Eid Festival is celebrated. Muslims make about 8% of Sri Lanka's population but their festivities and food are very popular. If you happen to be in Sri Lanka during the Ramadan month try and take part in the Eid celebrations. A favourite delicacy prepared on Eid is the watalappan. Rich in jaggery and coconut milk, this is one sweet treat you can never have enough of.



Vesak is a festival that falls on yet another Poya day. However what makes this Poya significant is the addition of lanterns. Vesak is called the 'Festival of Light' and streets and houses are beautifully decorated with a creative collection of lanterns.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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