10 Best Festivals in Sri Lanka to witness its cultural side
Sri Lanka, a tiny teardrop-shaped island, offers a diverse range of experiences, from world-class cultural and historical sites to palm-fringed beaches, lush tea plantations, and stunning wildlife-filled national parks. Festivals in Sri Lanka, which are celebrated with great zeal and fanfare, provide the ideal opportunity to observe and participate in this beautiful country’s culture and traditions. Witness the cultural side in Sri Lanka.
1. Duruthu Perahera
It is a grand procession in January (Duruthu), which marks the beginning of the Buddhist calendar in Sri Lanka, is one of the greatest & most glorious cultural traditional festivals in Sri Lanka, which was well-attended by both devotees and visitors.
Duruthu Perahera, a three-day festival commemorating Gautam Buddha’s first visit to the country 2500 years ago, is held at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. On the final day, behold a dazzling spectacle of bejewelled elephants, acrobats, dancers, drummers, and torch-bearers conjuring up a grand procession. Undoubtedly added in our Sri Lanka packages.
The biggest festival in Sri Lanka is Navam Perahera, which is a colourful blend of parades and rituals. The Gangaramaya temple in Colombo hosted the first Navam Perahera celebration in 1979. The festivities involve fire dancers, whip crackers, flag bearers, and hundreds of elephants. Navam Perahera is one of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating festivals that is included in Sri Lanka packages.
Sinhala & Tamil New Year
Every year around the middle of April, the entire country is engulfed in a festive atmosphere to commemorate the Lunar New Year. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of spring in Sri Lanka, is particularly celebrated with great pomp and display. People are cleaning and decorating their houses, making traditional sweets, eating meals with their families, and flaunting their new outfits. Hence, included in Sri Lanka packages to witness local culture.
Vesak Poya is one of Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist festivals, commemorating the three major events in Buddha’s life: his birth, enlightenment, and nirvana. During the Vesak festival in Sri Lanka, cities such as Colombo and Kandy will be illuminated by lit-up pandals showing elaborate panels from the Jataka legends, while villages will be illuminated by tiny clay lamps and the best opportunity to attend in Sri Lanka.
Kandy Esala Poya Perahera
The Festival of the Tooth, another significant religious festival pays homage to the holy tooth relic of Buddha enshrined at the famous temple in Kandy. Every day for a week, a dazzling procession of traditional singers, drummers, and elephants dressed in rich finery parade through the streets of the capital. To fully appreciate the spectacle, it is recommended to select customized Sri Lanka packages.
Vel Festival is one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent Hindu religious and cultural festivals, commemorating the triumph of war-god Skandha over evil powers and honouring his trident (vel). The vel is carried in a massive gleaming golden chariot pulled by white-clad devotees with holy ash smeared faces.
The procession marches through the city, accompanied by singers, musicians, and elephants, to the sound of chants, drums, bells, and divine sons reverberating through the streets. Sri Lanka’s beautiful parade, holy vibes, and festivities will leave anyone speechless and mesmerised in Sri Lanka.
Kataragama Esala Festival
Over two weeks, thousands of devotees from all over Sri Lanka flock to the holy town of Kataragama in southern Sri Lanka for one of the country’s most important Hindu festivals. Through partaking in ceremonies such as skin piercing and self-mutilation, people of all major religions seek divine instruction and penance from the lord.
This festival, like the Esala Perahera, features processions of singers, musicians, elephants, fire-eaters, and acrobats, all of which add to the religious fervour and festivities in Sri Lanka.
This 25-day long Nallur Festival in honour of Lord Murugan is a grand and glorious festival worth witnessing in Sri Lanka and also rivalling the celebrations at the Kandy Esala Perahera. On different days, different festivities and processions mark the celebrations, with devotees from all over the island flocking to the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil. Devotees bear the glistening god on a majestic silver throne across the town on Chariot Festival day. On other days, fantastic processions of magnificent chariots take place.
Love Sri Lanka Festival
This is a festival that celebrates the spirit of being “Soo Sri Lankan” through shopping, food, sports, and entertainment, as well as music, dance, and cultural activities. Vacationers from all over the world book Sri Lanka packages to see Sri Lankan festivals in their true colours. The people of Sri Lanka have been celebrating this festival for three years in a row.
This is one of the significant harvest festivals in Sri Lanka, which begins on the first day of Thai and lasts for three days. The festivities begin with the development of kolams (rangoli) with rice paste in front yards and the boiling of milk containing rice, jaggery, and spices. The entire family takes part in the celebrations to express gratitude to Surya as well as the animals, who play a crucial role in ensuring a successful harvest.
Sri Lanka is a quintessential travel destination with a variety of landscapes ranging from rainforests and sparsely populated plains to highlands and sandy beaches. It is known for its timeless ancient Buddhist ruins, friendly locals, magical elephants, and the popular ‘Ceylon Tea.
Pickyourtrails gives you an awe-inspiring glimpse of Sri Lanka’s wondrous landscape and diverse flora and fauna in Sri Lanka tour packages. In these packages, you can also choose your favourite days of stay and dining choices when you book the tour package.