Events & Festivals in Sri Lanka

Every year on or about April 13 Sinhala and Tamil people celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival, and Muslims celebrate Ramadan. Esala Perahera 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. However the new year for tamils have been established as being on January 14 from this year. Elephants are the main attractions of Sri Lankan Religeous Festivals. Elephants are considered as divine animal in Buddhism and Hinduism. Elephants parade among dancers and drummers carrying caskets containing sacred relics. These festivals have been conducting over 2500 years.

Kandy Perahara

Every year mid august a giant cultural festival parade streets of Kandy participating over 100 decorated elephants, traditional dancers, drummers performing under the moon light. It's Asia's biggest cultural happening over 1000 years. July or August According to the Mahawansa, from the time the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Ceylon in the reign of King Kithsiri Megahawanna who ruled at Anuradhapura from 303 – 331 A.D. it was placed in a casket made of Phalica (Steatire or Soapstone) and lodged in an edifice call the Dharma-Chakra built by King Dewanampiyathissa in the third centaury B.C. The Mahawansa goes in to say that 900,000 Kahapanas (a great some of money) were spent in celebrating the festival in honor of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the King Kithsiri Megahawanna decreed that the Relic should be taken round the city of Anuradhapura once a year in spring. There is evidence to show that his decree was faithfully carried out by those kings who followed him, and the famous Chinese Traveler Fa Hien, in his book describes his travels in India and Ceylon in the 5th cntaury A.D.

Sabaragamuwa Saman Devalaya Perahara

Every year aftet the Kandy Perahara Sabaragamuwa awakes in the Festival of Sumana Saman Devalaya making a parade that has been even older than Kandy Perahera.

Other Festivals in Sri Lanka

  • Kataragama Devala Perahera- August
  • KelaniyaDurutu Perahera - January
  • Bellanvila Temple Perahara Early Octorber
  • Uggal ALuthnuwara Devalaya Pearahara Late Octorber
  • Aulthnuwara Devalaya Perahara mid July
  • Mahiyangana Temple Perahara
  • Hanguranketa Devalaya Perahara
  • Devinuwara Devalya Perahera
  • Gangarama Viharaya Nawam Perahara - February
  • Nawagamuwa Devalya Perahara
  • Baddulla Temple Perahara
  • Delgamuwa Asala Perahara
  • Seenigama Devalaya Festival