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Festivals to Experience in Sri Lanka

Being a land that celebrates different cultures, and embraces its multinational attributes with pride, Sri Lanka is always decked up with the air of festive spirit. It is nearly impossible to visit the beautiful island nation and not be whisked away into celebratory mode, and while this is most likely the scene all year around, there are certain festivals that are a must-experience in Sri Lanka.

The local calendar is dotted with numerous holidays throughout the year, but during certain festive periods, the entire country unites in celebration. One such festival, and probably the most popular one is Avurudu, or rather the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The locals gather to bid adieu to
the previous year, whilst welcoming the new year dressed in their best clothes, eating festive delicacies and going for multiple Avurudu parties. The best part of this festival is undoubtedly the games which are played traditionally all across the island. These games include pillow fights, smashing the clay pot, pinning the tail to the elephant while
being blindfolded and so much more!

The next festival is Vesak, marking the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha, all three occasions which happened to fall on the same day. Vesak is celebrated in May and all streets are lit with lanterns, lights and oil lamps, causing Vesak to be nicknamed as the festival of lanterns. Every household hangs lanterns outside their homes during this time and the streets are lined with lights and massive lit structures known as the Vesak pandols. 

It is truly the most beautiful time of the year in Sri Lanka. The third one on our list is the magnificent Kandy Esala Perahera which takes place in August each year. This is an annual procession where the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is paraded through the streets of Kandy in the company of dancers of all kinds, devotees and elephants who carry the casket containing the sacred relic. The streets of Kandy are doused in lights and the festive atmosphere attracts thousands to come view this beautiful parade each year. So which one of these festivals are you most excited for? Take a trip to Sri Lanka and discover diverse cultures and fun festivals during your next vacation.

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