Unique cultural celebrations that should not missed in Sri Lanka
Have you started planning for you holidays for 2017? If not here are some great suggestions for you to plan around or incorporate into your existing plans. The three events we have mentioned are all of cultural and religious importance and unique to the country. To experience these events is to give yourself an enriching experience as well as an amazing holiday. So, have a look and we bet you will be inspired to plan your holiday in Sri Lanka this year.
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year Celebrations
During the days of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations held in April, the country comes to a sort of standstill. People travel back home to their villages from the city with many businesses closing during the period. But despite this it is a great time to explore the country and get a real feel for the traditions and rituals that are unique to Sri Lanka. The celebrations are held to offer thanks for a good rice harvest and to usher in peace and prosperity. There are many opportunities for you to actually take part in these rituals like boiling of the milk, lighting of the oil lamp and hearth and eating the first meal at the designated time. This is when you will get to taste local sweetmeats such as kavum and kokis that make an appearance in abundance during the new year celebrations.
The country lights up
May is very important as it is the month of the Vesak full-moon poya, the day Buddhists the world over venerate the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. To celebrate the significance of this day in Sri Lanka, cities, villages, homes, businesses and temples burst in to colour with intricate lanterns, serene oil lamps and impressive pandols that depict the past births of the Buddha known as Jathaka stories. It’s a magical time filled with pretty lights, the streets filled with people in complete harmony taking in the sights and sounds. It is a throbbing mass of people and yet there is a chaotic discipline to it all. Enjoy the street eats as you walk around in the cool night air, taking in the beautiful lanterns, that glitter like fairy lights. Whether you decide to stay in the capital Colombo or travel to other areas you will be completely enchanted.
A pageant for the senses
In August, the ancient capital city Kandy comes alive. The city is normally a hub of activity being home to the sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic. But in August this intensifies as people travel from all over the country and from all over the world to see the magnificent Kandy Esala Perahara. This colourful and dynamic procession honours the Tooth Relic, which is conveyed on the back of a majestic temple tusker. The perahara has been held annually for over a century to invoke blessings for rain essential for crop cultivations that sustained the country’s economy. If you plan on experiencing this pageant be sure to book your accommodation early. Luckily Kandy has a host of options to choose from ranging from star class hotels, to homely boutique hotels.
The time is right for you to start planning your 2017 holiday to Sri Lanka.