Galle Literacy Festival
Set in and around the UNESCO World Heritage city of Galle, Sri Lanka’s inaugural literary festival provides visitors with the opportunity to appreciate the work of Sri Lankan and international authors, engage in literary discussions and partake in a wide range of intellectual and artistic activities.By day, the festival features writing workshops, panel discussions, and topical debates, poetry readings, cooking classes, theatre workshops and literary lunches. By night there are poetry slams, jazz performances, late night movies, art showings and photographic exhibitions.There is even a comprehensive children’s programme that focuses on art and eco workshops, creative writing and debating.Galle Literary Festival 2009! – From 28th January – 1st February 2009 we will gather again in Galle for an international celebration of writing. Festival planning is underway and we are drawing together an exciting line-up of authors and events. The first announcements will be made here in September 2008.
Festival held on the full moon day of January at the Kelaniya Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The festival, the second most important perahera in the country, celebrates a visit by the Buddha to Sri Lanka.
One of the most colorful and prestigious Buddhist cultural pageant held in Sri Lanka Annually in February. It’s a grand pageant of Elephants, dancers and entertainment held to celebrate a religious event takes place on the full moon Day. The Perahera revives the traditional forms drawing dancing troupes from all parts of the country and providing an occasion to display their skills. The Perahara thus has a direct relevance to the preservation of our ancient Cultural Heritage
Achievement of independence from the British on Feb 4 1948 is a major event in the annals of history. Sri Lanka Celebrates its independence marked with various cultural and religious activities throughout the country
The Hindu festival of Maha Sivarathri is celebrated in late February or early March. This is the most important religious festival of the year for Hindus. It is a deeply symbolic occasion celebrating the winning of Lord Shiva by his consort Parvati, through the efficacy of penance. All-night poojas are offered in the temples, and devotees keep an all-night vigil by singing bajans and prayers. You can visit any Hindu temples on the night of Mahaivarathri and observe the rituals and invoke blessings
Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival
Sinhala & Tamil New Year is the most important festival for Sinhala & Tamil community in the country. Traditional SriLankan society is based on agriculture and this festival celebrates the harvesting of paddy. The sun has played a major role in bringing their harvest and its importance is being strengthened by this event. The new year dawns when the sun makes its transition from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesh Rashiya (House of Aries) marking the starting of a new cycle according to the astrology. Sinhalese as well as Tamils welcome the Sinhala and Hindu New Year at an auspicious time and carry out all the important activities like first light the hearth, start cooking, eating and anoint oil all at an auspicious time. Commencing work and doing the first business transaction is also part of the traditions. Visiting the relations and friends forgetting all the bad things happened in the previous year is the most important social aspect of the festival. Offering beetle leaves and worshipping the elders also strengthens the links of the traditional SriLankan society. There are several games and fun activities to bring the joy of the celebrations
Christian festival day celebrated in Negombo
The ‘Green City’ NuwarThe ‘Green City’ Nuwara-Eliya becomes the ‘Flower City’ during the month of April. Each year during this month of April most local and international tourists visit Nuwara-Eliya to enjoy this beauty. Based on this crowd, lots of entertaining events are organized and ultimately the month of April became ‘April Season’ in Nuwara-Eliya. When concerning about the local tourists, April is the vacation month for schools. And also the auspicious ‘Sinhala & Tamil New Year’ festival comes on the month of April and during this festive season the government declared 02 days holiday for public and bank sectors. So more local tourist rush to Nuwara-Eliya to enjoy the cool breeze and greenerya-Eliya becomes the ‘Flower City’ during the month of April. Each year during this month of April most local and international tourists visit Nuwara-Eliya to enjoy this beauty. Based on this crowd, lots of entertaining events are organized and ultimately the month of April became ‘April Season’ in Nuwara-Eliya. When concerning about the local tourists, April is the vacation month for schools. And also the auspicious ‘Sinhala & Tamil New Year’ festival comes on the month of April and during this festive season the government declared 02 days holiday for public and bank sectors. So more local tourist rush to Nuwara-Eliya to enjoy the cool breeze and greenery
Vesak is the main event in Buddhists Calendar. The day celebrates Buddhas birth, enlightenment and death. The event is spiritual where all the Buddhists swarm in the temples, clad in white. Beautiful pandals and lanterns which are traditionally made of bamboo, are set up in many places in the country. A visit on Vesak night around the country or cities will be a rewarding experience
The Poson Full Moon poya day is the second most important Poya for Sri Lankan Buddhists. The day celebrates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka 2550 years ago. Mihindu thero visited Mihinthala Mountain and intelligently sermonized to king Devanampiyathissa who was hunting a deer. Mihinthalawa has been declared as a sanctuary and it is probably the oldest sanctuary in the world portraying Srilankans nature-friendly attitude. Main activities of Poson Full Moon Poya centers to Mihinthalawa, but celebrated around the country.
Kataragama Esala Festival
The annual Esala Festival at the Kataragama Shrine in Sri Lanka’s southern jungle honours the variously named Kataragama God with two weeks of celebrations, culminating in a spectacular performance of devotees walking over burning coals.
Kataragama is one of the 16 principal places of Buddhist pilgrimage, and is also an important shrine for other religions – the Kataragama God pre-dates the Buddha of 2500 years ago, and was originally inherited (in some form) from the indigenous Vedda forest dwellers. To confuse things further, there’s a Muslim shrine tucked among the foliage, and the Tamil Hindus revere the site as the home of their own warrior God, Skandha.
At festival time the jungle transforms under the weight of serious religious frenzy. The festivities begin on the first night with a flag-hoisting ceremony. Each following night, after the ritual puja, white-clad Kapurala shaman-priests perform a complex, carefully choreographed ritual in which the Kataragama God is depicted as emerging from his Maha Devale residence. He then rides in a grand torch-lit procession upon a beautifully-decorated elephant to visit his sweetheart, the jungle princess Valli, and returns without being seen.
Hundreds of devotees, dressed in their dhotis and ceremonial markings, turn up with huge earthenware vessels on their heads. Constant shouts of “Horo Hara” remind everyone of their presence. The holy ash and camphor inside these pots is carefully emptied out onto the floor outside the temples, for them to roll around in (and to be washed off later).
Things get even more colourful towards the end of the two-week festival with the “water-cutting” ceremony, which is enacted after the ritual puja. A holy casket (believed to contain the secret of God’s birth) is dipped in the Manica Ganga sacred river, followed by thousands of pilgrims who submerge themselves – with their arms raised and to the shouts of “Hora Hara”.
At about 4am when the river ablutions are complete, the area in front of the main temple is cleared and laboriously covered in a layer of burning tamarind firewood. Hundreds of cleansed pilgrims slowly make their way, barefoot, across the burning ash. No one is burned.
In 2008, the fire-walking should be taking place during the early hours of 15 July. While we do our best to source the most accurate dates possible, it’s best to liaise with the local authorities before travelling.
As the August moon waxes in the Buddhist month of Esala, a ten-day-long pageant takes over Kandy, Sri Lanka. Men fulfil vows to Hindu god Skanda by walking “in harness” with spikes in their backs, accompanied by a fabulous procession.
The procession includes fire-juggling acrobats, sumptuously-decorated elephants, traditional dancers, oboe-tooting musicians, banners, palanquins, whip crackers, torch bearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims and swordsmen. To top it off, all this has happened every year since about 300 AD.
The action is made even more mesmerising because it happens at night. The old cannon booms after dusk and the Perahera (paraders) take to the streets for ten nights, with the parades growing ever longer each night until the final night of pageantry, when the parade is at its finest.
The festival is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and is dedicated not just to Skanda but also to Buddha. It is held to invoke the blessings of the gods for rain, fertility, successful crops and good health. Elephants feature heavily as they are symbols of abundance and fertility – the “clouds who walk the Earth”, instrumental in attracting the vital rains for harvest time.The most treasured item in the procession is a copy of a golden reliquary said to hold a tooth of the Buddha. Legend has it that the Buddha’s tooth was brought to Sri Lanka in the third century AD, hidden in the tresses of a princess. Pilgrims flock to visit the golden temple, Sri Dalada Maligawa, situated beside a tree-lined lake, every day of the year to catch a glimpse of the golden casket which holds the venerated molar
Annual Kite Festival
A festival of color and life, the National Festival of Kites is the place where creativity soars to the heights unreached as people from all age groups and backgrounds display their handiwork and paint the skies, each with a different shade. Kite festival Competitors could be any person, group or organization but the festival is open to all. Kites are in all shapes and sizes and are usually made with dried leaves and colorful papers and sarees. There usually competitions for longest kite or the most innovative kite with natural resources among many others.
World Tourism Day
World Tourism Day is held annually on September 27, by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Annual Golf Tournament
The best golfing tournament in the country, the Sri Lankan Airlines Annual Golf Classic attracts the finest golfers island-wide and from all over the world. Held at Victoria golf course off Kandy, the tournament is set most idyllic of surroundings with beautifully landscaped terrain and an equally splendid backdrop of mountains and lakes. The Golf Course is rated among the 100 most beautiful courses the world over. This armature tournament is open to golfers with a Council of national golf Unions or other recognized handicap and each competitor plays two 18 hole Stableford rounds on two consecutive days.
Deepavali is a colorful festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. This is also known as the festival of lights and one important practice the Hindus follow during the festival is to light oil lamps in their homes. The festival is associated with many legends and beliefs. One of them is to commemorate the killing of Narakasura, a notorious demon, by Lord Krishna. Narakasura, because of his previous store of virtue, had been granted a boon at the moment of his death. He asked that his death might ever be, commemorated as a day of feasting. The fireworks that are burst during Deepavali symbolize the use of fiery weapons used during the war that Krishna waged against the demon. Hindus attired in new garments first visit the temples before having their festive meals
Adams Peak hill climb
As the most exciting, adventurious and pictureous hill climb of Sri Lanka. In addition to the religious requirement,most of the peopleclimb to the top to observe the effulgence of the rising sun which is like a magical happening created by mother nature.By the way you will pass through magnificent sceneries and will get an real experience of hill climbing adventure There is only a walking distance from all the hotels to the starting point of the hill climb
During the period of December to May, the holy foot print is uncovered as a tradition when the statue of God Saman is taken from Saman Devalaya. The festival starts from December Full Moon Poya Day