Top 10 Most Famous Festivals in Sri Lanka

12-05-2022 10 1 0 0 Báo lỗi

Sri Lanka, the tiny teardrop shaped isle, offers myriad experiences ranging from world-class cultural and historical sites to palm-fringed beaches, verdant tea plantations and spectacular national parks teeming with wildlife. Home to the four main religions of the world, ‘the pearl of Indian Ocean’ is also a land of never-ending festivals and events celebrating all facets of life. Let's find out the most famous festivals in Sri Lanka on the list below.

1 Tâm Vũ

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Amongst all festivals in Sri Lanka, the Sinhala & Tamil New Year is especially celebrated with great pomp and show to mark the end of the harvest season and spring. The people in Sri Lanka have the notion that the Prince of Peace, Indradeva, comes down to earth to bless the people with happiness and peace and thus, this is also the time for the change of thoughts.


Both Sinhalese, as well as the Tamil people in the country, have their rituals such as the playing of a Raban, a drum, by women in the community, preparing Kiribath (a rice preparation in milk), Kavum (an oil cake) and Kokis (a sweetmeat snack). The date of the auspicious new year gains its significance through astrological calculations.


Where: Throughout Sri Lanka

When: 13th - 14th April

Photo: traumlandtours.com
Photo: traumlandtours.com
Video: English Class For You
2 Tâm Vũ

Vesak

Vesak is considered as both a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May. This festival marks the birth, enlightenment and passing away into Nirvana of the Lord Buddha. The weeklong celebration gives the visitor a unique opportunity to discover Sri Lanka's religious and cultural traditions.


Many religious activities are organized during this period in Sri Lanka. In temples Buddhists worship, offer flowers, light lamps and burn incense. Other than the exclusive religious aspects of the festival, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, decorate their houses and public places with colorful lanterns called Vesak koodu are hung along streets and in front of homes and arrange for various cultural events to bring happiness to everyone on that day. Electrically lit pandals called Toranas are erected in various locations mainly in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and elsewhere. Food stalls set up by Buddhist devotees called Dansalas provide free food and drinks to passersby. There are some fantastic mime and street theatre performances, staged on tall platforms throughout the cities and towns near the temples.


Vesak is also a time for great joy and happiness, expressed not by pandering to one’s appetites but by concentrating on useful activities such as decorating and illuminating temples, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha for public dissemination. Devout Buddhists also vie with one another to provide refreshments and vegetarian food to followers who visit the temple to pay homage to the Enlightened One.


Where: Celebrated throughout Sri Lanka but on a larger scale in Colombo

When: May

Photo: independent.lk
Photo: independent.lk
Video: Sri Lanka Tourism
3 Tâm Vũ

Poson Festival

Considered as one of the most famous festivals in Sri Lanka, this public holiday takes place on the full moon day of Poson, the seventh month in the Sinhalese calendar. It usually falls in June in the Western calendar.

Although Poson Festival is celebrated across Sri Lanka, the main event is a mass pilgrimage to Anuradhapura, while thousands of white-robed pilgrims climb to the summit of Mihintale to the spot where Mahinda gave his first sermon.


Poson is a very religious festival and temples on the island are filled with devotees and pilgrims to mark this great event. Others may perform religious activities like reading holy books or listen to monks tell stories about Buddha's life.


Similar to Vesak celebration, Poson also has lantern lighting, thorana decoration and food stalls as an integral part. Buddhist disciples dress up in white and indulge in various religious activities, of which climbing the steps of the Mihintale Rock is an important part.


Where: Anuradhapura and Mihintale

When: June

Photo: visitsrilankaholidays.com
Photo: visitsrilankaholidays.com
Video: WORK COMMUNITY SL
4 Tâm Vũ

Kandy Esala Poya Perahera

The Kandy Esala Poya Perahera (the Sri Dalada Perahera procession of Kandy) also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a festival held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.


A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of traditional local dances such as fire dances and performances in whip-dance garments. The festival ends with the traditional Diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.


Where: Kandy

When: Full moon of either July or August

Photo: lanka-excursions-holidays.com
Photo: lanka-excursions-holidays.com
Video: Sri Lanka Tourism
5 Tâm Vũ

Kataragama Festival

The Kataragama Perahera is held in the months of July/August and is a festival that coincides with the new Moon in the Esala month. This two-week Perahera attracts thousands of Hindus and Buddhists, many of who make the pilgrimage on foot from as far afield as Jaffna in Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula.


People of different religious faith seek atonement through the means of self-mutilation and piercings. The festive enthusiasm is high and can be seen more pronounced in the processions of musicians, lavishly garmented elephants, dancers, acrobats and fire-eaters. As a part of the parade, some of the devotees also walk on fire. Devotees also offer garlands of red flowers to Skanda, the son of Shiva.

Where: Kataragama town

When: July or August

Photo: adaderana.lk
Photo: adaderana.lk
Photo: ceylonpages.lk
Photo: ceylonpages.lk
6 Tâm Vũ

Vel Festival

Vel Festival is one of Sri Lanka's most prominent Hindu festivals and among the most famous festivals in Sri Lanka. With an interesting history that dates back to 1874, the Vel Festival is a celebration of triumph over evil by venerating the divine trident – or vel – of the Hindu war god Skanda (also known as Kartikeya and Murugan).


During the festival, devotees take to the streets for several days with parades featuring chariots, the smashing of coconuts, tinkling of bells, lighted joss-sticks and Kavadi dancers. The festival typically takes place during the month of July or August – with main celebrations centered in Colombo. Devotees in Colombo dress in bright colors and march along sea street to make their way to the temple in Bambalapitiya before returning. The festive mood resonates through the street air during the festival for several days and Hindus from all over the country join in festivities.


Where: Colombo

When: July or August

Photo: travelnewstalk.com
Photo: travelnewstalk.com
Video: One Mile At A Time.
7 Tâm Vũ

Deepavali

Deepavali (Diwali) spreads throughout the island’s various regions, but mostly observable in the North, East and hill country. However, the annual celebration of Deepavali, among the Tamil Hindus of Lanka, is one of the most famous festivals in Sri Lanka. This ‘Festival of Lights’ signifies warding off darkness and bringing light into one’s life and home.


The Tamil community in Sri Lanka celebrates Deepavali with great splendor by lighting lamps, bursting firecrackers, singing, dancing, wearing new clothes, visiting Hindu temples, exchanging gifts and meeting their loved ones over lavish meals. The idea behind lighting oil lamps is to seek blessings from the Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).

Where: Throughout Sri Lanka

When: October or November

Photo: nexttravelsrilanka.com
Photo: nexttravelsrilanka.com
Photo: Ada Derana
8 Tâm Vũ

Duruthu Perahera

The Duruthu Perahera is a grand temple procession held to commemorate Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka about 2500 years ago. It is held every year during the month of Duruthu (January) before the full moon, at the Kelaniya temple in Colombo and is commonly known as the Kelani Perahera.


The Duruthu Perahera includes striking fire dancers, singers, musicians, acrobats, devotees, majestic elephants and other traditional perahera dances. It is spread out over 3 days, with the first day being the most formal and the third day being the most colorful. The Kelani Temple (Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya) was built by King Yala-tissa in the 3rd century BC for the purpose of commemorating Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka in his ninth month of enlightenment with 500 other Arahants. Throughout history, the temple has been destroyed, rebuilt and restored many times, most recently in 1888. The Duruthu Perahera is sponsored by the Government and other devotees.


Where: Colombo

When: January

Photo: infinittravel.com
Photo: infinittravel.com
Video: Laila Koralegedara
9 Tâm Vũ

Nallur Festival

The Nallur Festival is a twenty-five days long commemoration, recognized as Sri Lanka’s longest holy festival, in reverence of the God Murugan Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka in August or September depending on the Tamil Calendar. The festival is located at Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, which is a significant Hindu temple, located in Nallur, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, following the 'Aadi Amavasai' day.


The Nallur Festival is commemorated to worship Lord Murugan, Goddesses Valli, and Deivanai. The Festival is always magnificent. It is said that many saints have lived and have been blessed by the Lord in this temple. Which is why whoever visits the temple feels peaceful.


The Nallur Festival witnesses people from all over the country gathering at the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil. The deity seated in a bedazzling silver throne is carried in a gigantic chariot by the devotees chanting “Aro Hara” around the town to mark the festival and showcase the devotion for Lord Murugun. Special ceremonies or poojas take place during the Nallur Festival.

Where: Jaffna

When: August or September

Photo: timeout.com
Photo: timeout.com
Photo: timeout.com
Photo: timeout.com
10 Tâm Vũ

Thai Pongal

Among the varying festivals that Sri Lankans celebrate, Thai Pongal holds a significant place and is one of the most famous festivals in Sri Lanka. The celebration of Thai Pongal is visible in North, East, Central Hill Country and other areas where Hindus live in Sri Lanka. Thai Pongal unites Tamils all across Sri Lanka in a devoted prayer of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The Tamils pay tribute to the Sun God (Surya) during this festival. Moreover, farmers worship the sun on this special day and they enjoy the harvest the entire year.


The festivities begin by drawing kolams (rangoli) with rice paste or powder in the front yard of houses and boiling milk mixed with rice, jaggery, and spices. The boiling preparation, when overturned, is said to determine the course of luck for the remaining year.


Where: Throughout Sri Lanka

When: Mid of January

Photo: tamilguardian.com
Photo: tamilguardian.com
Photo: dailynews.lk
Photo: dailynews.lk


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