94 115 755 055

Sri Lanka's civilization endows the island with a legacy of impressive festivals relating to the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religions. Furthermore, these festivals are commemorated with the flair of a people with a genius for pageantry and ritual.

Every full moon day is a public holiday known as poya. The most important is in May – Vesak – which marks the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing away. Worth seeing are the illuminated pandals (bamboo frameworks), enlightenment and passing away. Worth seeing are the illuminated pandals (bamboo frameworks), hung with pictures depicting events in the Buddha's life.

Hindu festivals include Thai Pongal, a harvest festival, Maha Sivarathri ("The Great Night of Shiva") – the most important festival of the year for Shaivites, who comprise the majority of Sri Lanka's hindus – and Deepavali ("The Festival of Lights").

Month of January:

Duruthy Perahera: Duruthu Perahera Festival is celebrated. This festival started from 1927 AD and celebrates the Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka more than 2500 years ago. It attracts thousands of people to Kelaniya. The Duruthu Perahera Festival is held on a full moon day. In commemoration of this visit a procession is held for three nights in the month of January at Kelaniya which is ten kilometers from Colombo. It is a very colorful festival to say the least. Decorated elephants, performing dancers and drummers, as well as the whip crackers attract thousands of viewers. There is always a generous sprinkling of foreign tourists amongst the crowd; it is not surprising to find people from other countries being wide eyed with wonder to witness this colorful festival.

Galle Literary Festival: The internationally-acclaimed Galle Literary Festival is held at the end of January, a four-day event that welcomes renowned writers and audiences from around the world to take part in talks, workshops and literary and artistic events at venues in and around Galle. Galle offers an idyllic setting for the film festival, with its old world charm, tropical scenery and post colonial accent. The city also provides an inimitable getaway for exploring the cuisine, lifestyle and cultural diversity of Sri Lanka's resplendent south.

Month of February

Nawam Perahera festival: Navam Perahera Festival in Colombo is a famous parade that draws tourists and visitors from across the country. You will find elephants, dancers and musicians taking to the streets during this grand and pompous parade in Colombo in Sri Lanka through two nights. Planned by Gangaramaya Temple overlooking the banks of the picturesque Beira Lake at Hunupitiya in Colombo, this pageant hosts hundred colorfully decked elephants parading the show on a full moon in February. History says that Navam Perahera Festival in Colombo was initiated in 1979 and hundreds of visitors flock to this temple every year since then to look at the amazing sight of herds of elephants walking down the road in their best of bright and pompous fineries. Navam Perahera Festival of color, fun and excitement speaks a lot about the local fervor and traditions of music.

Month of April

Sinhala & Tamil New Year: Sri Lankan New Year, which occurs usually on the 13th and 14th of April, is a non-religious festival celebrated by the whole population. Although Sri Lanka celebrates January 1st as a New Year from a western or international perspective the proper Sinhalese and Tamil New Year (avurudu), is celebrated about the 13th - 14th of April. This is a very special time in Sri Lanka. The larders are full since the harvest has just been collected, the trees are full of flowers, the homes are freshly painted and it is time for festivities. The precise times when the old year ends and the New Year begin, (most times the two does not coincide) are calculated by astronomers, and are generally announced by the peal of temple bells. Everything during this time must be performed at precise times (nakatha), and in the prescribed way.

The lighting first fire in the hearth, start of work, first transaction, first application of oil to hair, first meal, to name a few. In between these rituals, the time is spent playing games, visiting friends and relatives, enjoying the many sweets that are made for the occasion, and generally having a great time.

Month of May

May day, this international workers day is celebrated with colorful paradises and rallies organized by the leading trade unions.

Vesak Festival: Vesak Festival is celebrated with great fervor and reverence by the Buddhists throughout the world. It is celebrated on a full moon day and this day has great significance to the practicing Buddhists wherever they are in the world. Vesak Festival marks the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing Away of Lord Buddha. In Sri Lanka, all the Buddhist houses are illuminated and decorated with Vesak lanterns and electric lamps. To commemorate the event, colorful pandals with thousands of electric jets throwing dazzling color designs are found. Sri Lanka celebrated Vesak Festival for two days. All liquor shops and slaughter houses are closed by government decree for these two days. As a symbolic act of liberation birds, insects and animals are released in huge numbers. Many devout Buddhists wear simple white dresses on Vesak Day and spend the whole day in temples with renewed determination to observe the observance of the Eight Precepts of Buddhism. Vesak celebration also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the people in more straightened circumstances.

Month of June

Poson Full Moon: Poson, the full moon festival commemorates the advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the third century B.C. The center of celebration is Mihintale (above 10 km 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 processions in various parts of the island.

Month of July / August

Hikkaduwa Beach festival; The Hikkaduwa Beach Festival brings this town to life at the end of July for four days of beach-based activities, cultural events and musical shows for the whole family. International DJ's, local dancers and musicians headline the event.

Arugam Bay surf festival; Arugam Bay is on the list of the top ten surf points in the world. Situated on the South East side of Sri Lanka Arugam Bay receives the same Antarctic winter swell's that hit Indonesia in the in the middle of the year. The best time of the year is between May and November when the predominant wind is offshore for at least the first half of the day. During this period and especially in July & August numbers of surfing competitions are held in Arugam Bay.

Kandy Esala Perahera; Sri Lanka's most tourist-oriented festival is the Kandy Esala Perahera, held in Kandy over 10 days in late July to early August and climaxing on Esala Poya. Perahera means "procession" and that's exactly what occurs – a magical passing-by of drummers, dancers, whip-crackers and robed elephants. A caparisoned tusker carries the reason for the festival, the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, for the people to venerate. For 2010 the festival will be held during 15th to 24th August.

Kataragama Perehera; In the South East corner of the island is a jungle shrine dedicated to God Skanda and is a popular pilgrim center for Buddhist and Hindus. Fire walking and the annual perehera in July, August is among its highlights.

Vel; Some of Colombo's main streets take on the festival atmosphere in August where the capitals main Hindu festival take place and ornately decorated Vel Chariot makes its annual trip carrying the weapons of God Skanda from one temple to the other.

The Gathering at Mineriya National park; Located between Habarana and POLONNARUWA , the 8890 hectares of MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK is an ideal eco tourism location in Sri Lanka . The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka \'s favourites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena).

During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters. It is a great place for elephant spotting all year round – though as the dry season makes ater scarce between June and September, more and more elephants gather on the shores of Minneriya Tank. Indeed by late August and September, the awe inspiring site of up to 300 elephants can often be seen, in a phenomonen known as 'The Gathering'. It is the largest concentration and gathering of Asian elephants that can be seen anywhere in the world. Watching baby elephants playing with each other, bull elephants tussling for dominance and the great matriarchs surveying the scene is not a sight you are likely to forget in a hurry.

Month of September

Ramazan Festival

Month of October

Sri Lankan Airlines Golf classics; Victoria Golf Club is the venue of Sri Lankan Airlines Golf Classic Event. It is situated just outside Kandy. Here the experience of teeing off is out of the world, exotic surroundings are the reason for its charm. It has been rated amongst the hundred most beautiful golf courses in the world. The golf course has imposing trees, jack forests, coconut trees and palm trees as well as undulating hillsides which are part and parcel of its magnetic allure. It is easy to understand why the Sri Lankan Airlines Golf Classic Event is held here, since the event is for amateur golfers they get additional perks in the name of surroundings as well as the trophy.

The Sri Lankan Airlines Golf Classic Event is for amateur golfers in the country. And there are many amateur golfers in Sri Lanka, people who are dedicated and passionate about the game! This event is an annual event and very important event too in the sports calendar of the country. Only the every best golfer takes part in the game here.

In Sri Lanka, there are a couple of really good golf courses. Golf enthusiasts from all over the world visit these courses to tee off. It is only fitting that some great golfing events are held to honor the sport as well as the enthusiasts of it! Sri Lankan Airlines Golf Classic Event is one of the most well known golf event of the country. Amongst the best golf clubs of the country, The Royal Colombo Golf Club must be mentioned. It was founded in 1879 and is the oldest golf club in the country. It has a rich history of over 125 years and has a membership of about 3000. Being in the busy capital city of Colombo has not taken away its charm.