Festivals in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka having a history as long as many ancient civilizations, positioning in the crossroad of the East and the West, and being a multicultural society, celebrates a wide variety of festivals, ceremonies and events.

Every year on or about April 13th Sinhala and Tamil people celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival, and Muslims celebrate Ramadan. Esala Perahera (A-suh-luh peh-ruh-ha-ruh) is the grand festival of Esala held in Sri Lanka. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and richly decorated elephants. There are fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandian dances and various other cultural dances. The elephants are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional ‘diya-kepeema’. The elephant is paraded around the city bearing the tooth of Buddha.

January
January – Duruthu Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
January – Patti Pongal – (Religious/Hindu/Agriculture related)
January – Patti Kiri Ithirima – (Customary/Sinhalese/Agriculture related)

February
February – The National Day (Independence Day) – (Customary/Political/Commemorating the Political Freedom attained from the British Empire)
February – Navam Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)

March
March – Maha Shivaratri – (Religious/Hindu)
March – Milad-Un-Nabi – (Religious/Islam)
March – Medin Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
March – Good Friday – (Religious/Catholic/Christian)

April
April – Watching the new moon for the new Lunar year – (Customary/Astrology related)
April – Day Prior to Sinhala and Tamil New Year – (Religious/Customary/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese/Agriculture related/Astrology related)
April – Sinhala and Tamil New Year – (Religious/Customary/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese/Agriculture related/Astrology related)
April – National herbal oil anointing ceremony – (Customary/Buddhist/Sinhalese/Astrology related)
April – Bak Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)

May
May – May Day – (Customary/Political)
May – Watching the new moon for the new Solar year – (Customary/Astrology related)
May – Vesak Full Moon Poya (Vesak) – (Religious/Buddhist)

June
June – Poson Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)

July
July – Esala Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
July – Ramazan Festival – (Religious/Muslims)

August
August – Nikini Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
August – Esala Perahera – (Customary/Religious/Political/Buddhist/Hindu/Sinhalese)

September
September – Binara Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)

October
October – Ramazan Festival – (Religious/Islam)
October – Vap Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
October – Deepavali – (Religious/Hindu)

November
November – Il Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
Haj Festival – (Religious/Islam)

December
December – Unduvap Full Moon Poya – (Religious/Buddhist)
December – Christmas – (Religious/Catholic/Christian)

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