Best Festivals in Sri Lanka

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Travel Features >> Best Festivals in Sri Lanka

Best Festivals in Sri Lanka

August 12, 2014

Through the years, Sri Lanka never failed to impress both first-timers and avid tourists. This country features not only breathtaking natural sceneries but a very diverse and unique culture as well. Festivals are held there whole year round providing excitement and fun to local and international tourists. Read further and discover four of the best festivals in Sri Lanka that you should look out for.

Wesak is the most scared Buddhist festival celebrated in Sri Lanka every May. It is intended to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. This event is particularly important for Buddhism practitioners as it is the perfect time to increase their faith and relive the greatness of their god. The first full moon in May marks the start of this festival which will end the day after. As the sun rises, Buddhists with white dresses will start to crowd temples where they meditate, read religious texts, and listen to preachers. When night comes, devotees will fill temples with flowers and offerings making them colorful sights. Probably one of the main reasons why this festival is so famous aside from its religious tie is the fact that it is focused in creativity and fun. Your family will surely enjoy various colorful and intricate decorations highlighted in this event. Wesak paper lanterns to be specific are worth grabbing as they come in various sizes and colors. Thousands of them will be on the air as the festival progresses illuminating the night and making the event visible even from a far.

This celebration is a way merrier in Colombo compared to other parts of Sri Lanka. They make it more exciting with bamboo frameworks called Pandals where pictures of Buddha’s life are drawn. Danselas, alms booths, also made this festival quite unique. These are temporary sheds specifically made for the event where pilgrims and sightseers can get free food and refreshment. Puppet shows and theatre performances featuring Buddha’s life are icings to the cake that your kids will surely love.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year
This traditional New Year celebration in Sinhala and Tamil happens between the 12th and the 14th of April. Its main purpose is to thank the Sun God for a bountiful harvest as it moves from Pisces to Aries. This event is considered a holiday for the whole country to enjoy and participate which is a clear indication that it’s definitely worth witnessing. Friendship and family are the key highlights of this fun-filled event. Most families will wear new clothes and cook mouthwatering traditional dishes and treats. The youth on the other hand, will partake on various traditional games like racing towards the top of a greased pole, pillow fighting, and breaking a pot filled with prizes while being blindfolded. Tourists often enjoy participating in these activities as they find it uniquely entertaining.

This festival features the Buddhist God of War as he carries his Velt or trident weapon. Its representation will be paraded in various streets where people stay in the sidelines to cheer and witness the colorful float parade. To observe the festival during the day, which is of course the best time, wait for the parade at the Galle Road between Pettah and Bambalapitiya.
Are you planning to visit Sri Lanka and have a memorable adventurous trip? Aside from preparing the essentials like sri lanka visas for the whole family, it’s important to know when and where to go so you’ll get the most out of your stay in this joyous country.

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