The Duruthu Perahera is an annual vibrant procession which represents Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka about 2500 years ago. This procession is organized by the sacred temple of Kelaniya, with the help of philanthropists and donors. It’s a beautiful parade of dancers and Elephants gracefully mimicking the glory of yesteryear.
Sri Lanka celebrates its independence on the 4th of February with the leadership of his Excellency the President, other distinguished members of the government including the distinguished guests who represent foreign missions.
Big Matches are annual cricket encounters between traditional rival schools as they play for their prestige and pride. Usually these matches are held at the end of the first school term in March. 'Battle of the Blues' the cricket tournament played between Royal College and St. Thomas’s College is considered as the most celebrated sports game in Sri Lankan sports circle and it is the second-longest uninterrupted cricket match series in the world.
Sinhala and Hindu New Year is one of the most important events in the Sri Lankan calendar where two prominent races in Sri Lanka celebrate the new year according to their religious beliefs. It’s a joyful time for all Sri Lankans as it’s a time of unity and peace, which represents the beliefs of these celebrations. Traditional sweet meats, milk rice, traditional games are all part of this event.
Kitesurfing is fast becoming a popular extreme sport hobby for travelers around the world. The beautiful breathtaking coast of Kalpitiya is definitely one of the main spots in Sri Lanka to go to for the ultimate kitesurfing experience. Kalpitiya is renowned for its excellent winds throughout the year, delivering strong south-west winds with an average of 20-25 knots, peaking around 30 knots, all day long. The best time to go kitesurfing is during the South-West monsoon season which lasts from May to October.
Poson, the sixth poya day of the year held on the full moon day of June, is noteworthy to Sri Lankan Buddhists as the day we commemorate the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahat Maha Mahinda (son of King Asoka of India) at Mihintale in the third century B.C. Poson Poya is celebrated annually with great fervor throughout the island and the major ceremonies are to be found in Mihintale & Anuradhapura. Poson Poya is celebrated by Buddhists in Sri Lanka by visiting the Temple with offerings of flowers and incense to pay homage to Lord Buddha. Buddhist families decorate their homes with coloured lights, lanterns while making use of the holiday to engage in meritorious deeds such as “Dansal” giving away free food and beverage to people of all religious and ethnic groups.
The Minneriya Elephant Gathering is an enchanted wildlife spectacle that anyone who travels to Sri Lanka must see. Known among the locals as “The Gathering” is a spectacular event of around 300 – 400 wild elephants of all ages congregating in search for food and water near Minneriya reservoir during the dry season (June to September). Themed as the world’s largest pool party, attracts tourists from across the world to witness these magnificent elephants at a close distance.
The Esala procession is held in the royal city of Kandy to pay homage to the sacred tooth relic of Buddha which is housed at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. Dalada Maligawa is a sacred palace, which houses the tooth relic and is visited by thousands of tourists. This festival is an exquisite affair with beautifully dressed tuskers and traditional dancers in elegant costumes. It’s an event which is unique to Sri Lanka and could not be witnessed anywhere in the world. A mesmerizing affair with many viewing decks to choose from.
Trincomalee (more commonly known as ‘Trinco') is a prime eco tourism venue which is located on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka and offers some of the country's most attractive beaches such as ‘Uppuveli' and ‘Nilaveli'. Trincomalee is also rapidly emerging as another internationally important whale-watching destination in Sri Lanka. Blue whales in particular (plus smaller numbers of sperm whales) can regularly be seen around six to eight nautical miles east of Trincomalee (about 30min by boat), and can even occasionally be spotted from the land. Snorkelling around the famous Pigeon island just off Nilaveli beach is widely recognized to be a ‘must-do' activity during a stay in Trinco.
Arugam Bay is one of the best places in the world for surfing, and has been a favorite of the long-term community for decades. Located 320 km from Colombo on highway A4, takes almost seven hours to make the drive to Arugam Bay which makes an interesting journey as you pass through an array of zones of the island to reach the final destination. There are several popular point breaks including Ullah Point, Pottuvil Point, Surf Point, Peanut Farm Point, Surf Point, and Crocodile Rock. `Surf Point’ that breaks at the headland in front of Arugam Bay is suitable for body surfing and beginners. The best surfing in Arugam Bay starts in April and ends in October. If you're devout surfer looking for the perfect wave or just a tourist looking for the perfect tropical vacation, Arugam Bay is worth considering.
Deepavali, the festival of lights, is mostly celebrated by the Sri Lankan Tamils and considered as a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Deepavali falls during October or November on the Western solar calendar. Hindu temples will hold special services on this day and houses of the celebrants will be decorated with traditional glowing clay lamps. Taking a walk through a town or village with decorated lights and lamps would be a major attraction that visitors often enjoy during this period.
Christmas is annually celebrated in a grand scale across Sri Lanka during the month of December. Christmas Eve and Christmas day are public holidays in Sri Lanka and during the month special Christmas services are held in churches and small chapels across the country. The festivity spreads through all shopping centers, hotels and every Christian home all over the island with Christmas decorations and trees. Visiting Sri Lanka during Christmas will be one of your best decisions.