One of the most fascinating island countries of the world, Sri Lanka has a full year long calendar of religious and social events. Sri Lanka Festival & Events are held in different seasons but the most noticeable feature of these festivals is that nearly all major festivals take place or are celebrated on full moon days. Full Moon days are especially significant for this Buddhist country, each full moon or poya day is a Buddhist holiday. Most shops keep their shutters down and the public places of entertainment too mainly remain closed. Red meat or alcohol is not sold in most places and in hotels too alcohol is hard to get.
Some of Sri Lanka Festival & Events are really brilliant. Esala Festival is held usually in July and/or August in Kandy. It extends over 10 days and climaxes on Nikini full moon. Great processions are taken out with bedecked elephants, fire walkers, Kandyan dancers, spinning plates, all to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic of Kandy. During the final three days, the best parades are taken out. Crowds throng the parade routes and for a tourist the experience can result in a kaleidoscope of different rituals, customs and colors.
In January, Duruthu Perahera is celebrated on Poya day. The festival has a religious connotation, in fact, it is a religious festival as it celebrates Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. The center of activity is Colombo and there one can get a glimpse of all the festivities from the Colombo House. Dalada Perahera is held on fourth December each year in Bentota in the sacred memory of the Arapant Maha Kaypa whose Tooth relic is enshrined at the Galapatha Rajamaha Temple. A huge parade is held in the Esala style but just for a night. Other celebrations like Deepavali, Buddhist New Year, Christmas, New Year are celebrated with gusto and the whole island breaks in to a riot of colors and festivity