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  • Festivals in Sri Lanka

Journeys to Sri Lanka’s rich and colourful traditions
Experience the true colors of Sri Lanka during the local festivals

Poya Days

Full Moon days (known as Poya days), are of religious significance to Buddhists and devoted to prayer and meditation. In keeping with its significance as a religious day abstinence is practiced. As such places selling liquor (including hotel bars) and Meat shops closed. Places of entertainment such as cinemas, discos and casinos are closed as well.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Sri Lankan Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda, is celebrated  on the 13th and 14th of April. For the Sri Lankan, Aluth Avurudda marks the end of the harvest season, and also coincides with one of two instances when the sun is directly above Sri Lanka. Many of the traditions traditions and rituals portray the beliefs and thoughts of these people whose life is centred around agriculture.

Kandy Esala Perahera

The cracking of the whips, signaling - the same way they have done for centuries - the arrival of the Sri Lankan Perehera. The enchanting rhythmical throb of the drums accompanied by equally fascinating tunes flowing from the flutes will hold you spellbound.

The Kandy Perehera one of the most colourful, most enchanting and fascinating carnivals in Asia.  The hundreds of Copra Torches carried along the Perehera from beginning to the end will take you to a wonderland. And, in this wonderland you will witness thousands of participants - Flag Bearers, Drummers, numerous Dancers including hundreds of the famous Kandyan Dancers, Actors, Acrobats all performing to their best, Officials, Chiefs of various Devalas (Nilames) headed of course by the ‘Nilame' - the Guardian of the ‘Palace of the Tooth Relic' so on and so forth, all in their brilliantly colourful costumes.

The festivities take place on the streets of Kandy during 10 days, starting from an auspicious time prescribed by astrologues.

National Festival of Kites

The National Festivals of Kites is held annually to encourage the creativity of Sri Lankan children and adults. Every September, large crowds gather to admire the sky filled with kites made from colourful sarees and dried leaves.

Colombo Marathon

The inaugural marathon was held in 1998 in Galle. Since then, it has been held in Negombo, Kandy, Dambulla, and Colombo, gaining more popularity with each passing year.

Deepavali, Across India

Commonly known around the world as Diwali, or the lighting of the oil lamps signifies victory of good over the evil within every human being. In Chennai, India and in Sri Lanka, this festival is called Deepavali and considered as the most important festival in the Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths.

 

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