Visit Sri Lanka for festivals:

Explore Sri Lanka’s Vibrant Festivals and Events Throughout the Year

Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka and wondering when the best time to visit is to experience its vibrant festivals and events?  Look no further!

In this  comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through some of the most exciting celebrations that take place throughout the year in this beautiful island nation.

Thai Pongal

  • Date : 14th January
  • If you’re visiting Sri Lanka in mid-January, don’t miss Thai Pongal, a joyful harvest festival celebrated by Tamil Hindus.
  • During this time, you’ll witness the ringing of temple bells, melodious music, and intricate kolam designs adorning doorsteps.
  • The highlight is the preparation of huge pots of sweet rice, symbolizing abundance. And yes, you’ll get to enjoy this delicious treat too!

Independence Day

  • Date : 4th February
  • On February 4th, Sri Lanka commemorates its Independence Day, marking the momentous occasion when the country gained independence from Britain in 1948.
  • The capital city, Colombo, comes alive with flag-waving, military parades, and spectacular fireworks. Don’t miss the televised presidential speech, a central part of the celebration.

New Year

  • Date : 13th-14th April
  • In mid-April, both Sinhalese and Tamil Sri Lankans return to their hometowns to celebrate the lunar New Year.

  • This festivity coincides with the arrival of spring and is marked by a grand feast featuring coconut rice, sesame rolls, deep-fried kokis biscuits, and an abundance of fruits.

  • Live music and fireworks light up the evening, creating a lively atmosphere.

Vesak Poya

  • Date : May full moon
  • Vesak Poya is the most significant Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka, celebrating the birth, enlightenment, and nirvana of Buddha.
  • Temples are filled with worshippers making offerings of flowers and candles, while roadside stalls offer free food.
  • As night falls, Buddhist homes and businesses light up with lanterns and oil lamps, creating a magical ambiance.
  • Colombo hosts some of the grandest Vesak Poya celebrations.

Eid al-Fitr

  • Date : Changes yearly
  • Eid al-Fitr, a two-day festival, marks the end of Ramadan and is a deeply religious event in Islam.
  • Sri Lanka boasts around 2,000 mosques, where prayers are held before sumptuous feasts of samosas and watalappam coconut puddings are shared with friends and family.


  • Date : October or November
  • Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is the renowned Hindu Festival of Lights celebrated mainly by Tamil Hindus in the Hill Country and other regions.
  • Homes are adorned with beautiful kolam mandalas to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
  • The streets come alive with oil lamps, and sweet treats are exchanged among friends and neighbors.

Christmas Day

  • Date : 25th December
  • Christmas is a national holiday in Sri Lanka, celebrated peacefully with midnight mass at St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo.
  • Catholics gather to sing hymns and pray by candlelight.
  • Don’t forget to try the Sri Lankan Christmas cake, a delectable treat packed with dates, cherries, raisins, and more, soaked in a delightful mix of arrack, rose water, golden syrup, brandy, and island spices.


Now that you have a glimpse of the festivities in Sri Lanka, plan your visit accordingly to immerse yourself in the culture, traditions, and flavors of this enchanting island nation.