70% of Sri Lankan population following Buddhism, majority of the public holidays in 2018 are based on Buddhist culture. Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are also practiced in some areas of the country and as a mark of respect; the government also includes holidays for these religions in the country’s list of public holidays every year.

One of the major Buddhism based holidays announced as national holidays are the Full Moon Poya Days of every month. On every Full Moon Poya Day, workers are entitled to a paid leave, banks and all organizations remain closed on these 12 days of the year.

Apart from that, some of the other important national holidays observed in Sri Lanka include National Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (Milad-un-Nabi), Thai Pongal Day, Mahasivarathri, Eid-al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha and Christmas Day. While some of these are public, bank and mercantile holidays, others are only public and bank holidays where the corporate sector remains working. Time off is usually given at the discretion of the employer for celebrations of the religious and national festivals.

Below is a detailed list of all the Sri Lankan public holidays in 2018. This table shows you the date of the holiday, the occasion as well as which sectors remain closed on that particular holiday.

Day Date Holiday
Monday January 01 Duruthu Full Moon Poya
Sunday January 14 Tamil Thai Pongal Day
Monday January 15 Tamil Thai Pongal Day Holiday
Wednesday January 31 Navam Full Moon Poya
Sunday February 04 National Day
Monday February 05 Special Bank Holiday
Tuesday February 13 Maha Shivratri
Thursday March 01 Madin Full Moon Poya
Friday March 30 Good Friday
Saturday March 31 Bak Full Moon Poya
Friday April 13 Sinhala and Tamil New Year Eve
Saturday April 14 Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Friday April 20 Half Day Special Bank Holiday
Sunday April 29 Vesak Full Moon Poya
Monday April 30 Vesak Full Moon Poya Holiday
Tuesday May 01 May Day
Tuesday May 29 Adi-Poson Full Moon Poya
Friday June 15 Idul Fitr
Wednesday June 27 Poson Full Moon Poya
Friday July 27 Esala Full Moon Poya
Wednesday August 22 Idul Adha
Saturday August 25 Nikini Full Moon Poya
Monday September 24 Binara Full Moon Poya
Wednesday October 24 Vap Full Moon Poya
Tuesday November 06 Deepavali
Tuesday November 20 Milad-un-Nabi
Thursday November 22 Ill Full Moon Poya
Saturday December 22 Unduvap Full Moon Poya
Tuesday December 25 Christmas Day
  National Holiday
  Not a Public Holiday
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