When to travel to coincide with special events.
Every month, without exception, there are some events, traditional and popular festivals in Sri Lanka.
To begin with, every full moon day, called Poya, is cause for celebration for both Buddhists and Hindus.
On this day crowds of immaculately dressed Buddhists in white visit the temples to pray and meditate.
Even for Hindus, full moon days are sacred and perform their rites next to trees, rivers, tea fields …
Just walk through the beautiful tea fields so you can see small altars with Ganesh or another deity.
Or maybe a piece of cloth delicately tied to a tree branch.
The different cultures and religions that coexist harmoniously in this small country will make your trip to ancient Ceylon even more interesting and colorful.
Not only do we have the Esala Perahera in Kandy, but there are also other colorful events where you can actively participate with the cheerful Sri Lankans, such as Aurudu New Year or Sri Lankan New Year.
Below we list for months the different traditional and popular festivals of Sri Lanka:
Traveling in JANUARY you can find …
Rice harvesting, also called Thai Pongal.
This important Hindu festival fills the Tamil villages around the country with color.
Hindus, experts in multi-colored decoration, drive their mega allegorical floats through the streets of Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawella, Ella and other Tamil enclaves.
You will see how they dance and worship their gods in these spectacular allegorical floats.
Duruthu Perahera is also celebrated in Colombo, which is, after Perahera of Kandy, the largest Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka.
If you travel to Sri Lanka in FEBRUARY you will see …
Like all tuk-tuks, motorcycles, bicycles and cars, they wear the Sri Lankan flag to celebrate Independence Day on February 4th.
In all places there is party and fun, concerts, fireworks, etc.
In addition, Navam Perahera is celebrated in the capital, the fourth most important procession.
Traveling in MARCH to Sri Lanka will allow you …
Find out what Hindus do who celebrate Maha Sivarathri during the full moon: an entire vigil night to commemorate the wedding of Siva and Parvarti
Certainly the most interesting month to travel to Sri Lanka is APRIL and we tell you why:
The Sri Lankan New Year is celebrated on the 13th and 14th of this month.
The kids are on vacation this month and families and friends gather in homes and hotels across the country.
Both Tamils and Buddhists celebrate this curious event which, to look for a similarity, represents for the Sinhalese what the Christmas period would be for us.
It is a lot of fun to see how cities and neighborhoods are organized to create community games, in which absolutely everyone participates.
Adults and children play for competitions with rice bags, play small games, etc.
One of the most fun activities is the competition to reward the person who laughs best and the person who cries best.
You can’t miss any of these activities if you come to Sri Lanka in April!
Logically, the typical meals of the moment are prepared, such as kokis (fried rice and coconut milk), Kiribat (rice pudding), Mung Kavum and others.
Get ready to meet the most affable, hospitable and friendly side of the Sinhalese in this special moment!
If you are one of those who are moved by Buddhism, do not miss the opportunity to come to Sri Lanka in May because …
For two days Vesak is celebrated to commemorate the birth, illumination and death of the Buddha.
It is a magical moment in which all the houses, premises, institutions, schools, temples and any building are illuminated with many paper lantern type lamps.
Sometimes the streets and temples are also illuminated with thousands of oil lamps.
It’s spectacular! It is an unparalleled image that you cannot erase from your mind.
It will be a memory that will remain etched in your mind forever.
Those travelers who come to Sri Lanka in JUNE
will have the opportunity to know …
Vesak Posson in Anuradhapura and Mihintale.
All hotels are adorned with the flag in these locations in northern Sri Lanka.
This time the day is celebrated when Mahinda brought Buddhism to the country.
Thousands of Buddhists flock to local temples.
It is also a show that moves all hearts.
Of these traditional and popular festivals in Sri Lanka, perhaps the most surprising from a human point of view is danssal.
For the two Vesaks, a type of beach bar called “danssal” is organized in the cities, streets and villages of Sri Lanka, where free food and drinks are offered.
The origin of these beach bars is to feed and give drinks to pilgrims who went to remote or distant temples in these months of May and June.
Today, young people and children from Sri Lanka organize to invite anyone who comes (pilgrims or not, it doesn’t matter!) To coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweet biscuits, rice with vegetables, ice cream and traditional food.
Large lines are formed in the areas used to receive that portion of food or drinks.
The collection of these agapes comes from what each of the residents or businessmen of the area contributes, depending on the economic capacity of each.
Everyone contributes a lot of rupees, big or small, but everyone wants to donate money so that free food and drinks are available to all citizens.
It is a great gesture that defines the generous, hospitable and affable character of the Sinhalese.
What to see in Sri Lanka in JULY …
Well, this month we have two different events:
El Vel, celebrated by the Hindus of Colombo and Jaffna.
During the full moon in July, it is absolutely essential to visit the sacred area of Kataragama.
Thousands of devotees flock to this iconic place to celebrate the victory of the war god Skanda over demons.
Watch out! Because you have to prepare yourself to see slightly masochistic scenes, but the crowd of people visiting the place is still impressive.
Take advantage and go on a safari in Yala National Park to see the elusive leopard.
AUGUST is the month of the ESALA PERAHERA procession. Not to be missed
Different peraheras are celebrated in many places, although the most important is the Esala Perahera in Kandy.
You can see around 100 elephants dressed in gorgeous colorful costumes and lights strolling the city streets.
Every night the relic of the tooth of the Buddha comes out in procession accompanied by these elephants, dancers, musicians, personalities …
It is certainly the most important cultural event in Asia where Kandy hotels are sold out.
Likewise, the Perahera effect is evident in the arrival of many foreign tourists on the island.
So book your trip 8-9 months in advance to organize this theme and your holidays in Sri Lanka well.
We also have the Hindu Festival of Nallur in Jaffna.
It is the most important festival in the north of the country where thousands of devotees go to this very interesting temple where men MANDATORY present themselves with their breasts uncovered.
If you come to Sri Lanka in OCTOBER and NOVEMBER, you can go to the famous Deepavali
This Hindu festival of lights and colors celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the return of Rama from exile.
What to see in old Ceylon in December?
This month Christmas is celebrated.
Children also have holidays and hotels and trains are crowded with clubs.
This holiday does not have the same incidence as the West, since Catholics represent only 8% of the total population.
Furthermore, we do not find consumism like the rest of the world.
Where the arrival of Christmas is most evident is in Neoambo and Colombo, since it is where the greatest concentration of Christians is found.
In addition to this party, we also have the start of the “Adam’s Peak” season.
From December to March, Buddhists climb this peak, especially on full moon nights.
It is very curious to see the hundreds of bars selling tea and food for pilgrims who climb this famous peak at 2 or 3 in the morning.
Get a good jacket, as temperatures drop to 8-9 degrees.
Dawn from this emblematic place, where the imprint of Adam or the Buddha, is a sight without equal.
In the same way, going down we will observe the lakes that surround the mountains, an absolutely spectacular image.
The magic of light and fog at that time of morning leaves everyone speechless, without exception.
And finally, the December full moon is also a traditional and popular festival in Sri Lanka.
In particular in Anuradhapura, where the sacred “Bodhi Tree” is found, the oldest planted by man’s hand.
Count on a local agency such as Sri Lanka Travel Eden with an office in Kandy to organize your next vacation.
We are the only agency in the country that serves Italian from the heart of the island.
This allows us to have first-hand information to organize your trip to Sri Lanka based on the traditional and popular festivals of Sri Lanka at all times.
We will help you at all times, as we are always present both physically and virtually.
We don’t say it ourselves. Read our customers’ opinions on our website and in travel forums.