Religious Events in Sri Lanka

Kandy Esala Perahera
The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants. This is held in Esala (July or August) which is the month that is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment.

Adam's Peak (Sri Pada)
The amazing Adam’s Peak is Sri Lanka’s fourth highest mountain at 2244m and is located 40km northeast of Ratnapura.

Vesak Festival
Vesak is a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of May.
Vesak Day is one of the biggest days of the year and is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Buddhists commemorate the important events that took place in the life of Lord Buddha on this day.

Poson Festival
Poson full-moon poya day (Poson Poya Day/Poson Festival) is celebrated the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC, a festival of great historical and religious significance celebrated island-wide by Buddhists. Poson, held on the full moon day of June, commemorates the occasion over 2,000 years ago when Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.

Kataragama Esala Festival
Kataragama hums with activity at the time of Poojas (offerings or prayers). Devotees laden with offerings move lightly, barefoot, up the temple steps. From inside comes the sharp sound of breaking coconuts as worshippers begin their devotions.

Diwali Celebrations
Diwali or Deepavali is one of the grandest festivals in the Hindu calendar and is celebrated by Hindu devotees throughout the island by performing traditional activities together in their homes. Diwali simply means ‘festival of lights’ but its deep meaning is the awareness of the inner light.

Ramadan Festival
Ramadan brings out a special feeling of emotional excitement and religious zeal among Muslims of all ages. It is one of the holiest months for Muslims. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is expected to begin on or around August 1, 2011 and will finish on or around August 29, 2011, and will continue for 29 or 30 days. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast.

Christmas Celebrations
Christmas is annually celebrated in a grand scale across the island. Preparation for this great day begins weeks before as in other countries. The festive sound of firecrackers waking you up at the dawn of December 1st is the first intimation that Christmas is round the corner.

Duruthu Poya
Duruthu Poya celebrates Gautama Buddha’s momentous first visit to Sri Lanka twenty five centuries ago
and marks the country’s initiation to the teachings of Buddhism…

Navam Poya
Navam Poya. One is the appointment of the Buddha’s two chief disciples Sariputta and Moggallana. It is said that Sariputta was appointed “Dharmasenadipathi” while Moggallana was named “Dharmapurohita”…

Medin Poya
Medin poya is the day when Buddha visited his father King Suddodhana for the first time as the “Samma Sambuddha” (Fully Enlightened One). Medin Poya falls in March…

Bak Poya
Bak Poya (Bak Pura Pasaloswaka Poya Day) which falls in the month of April marks Lord Buddha’s visit to Nagadipa. This was his second visit to Sri Lanka after Enlightenment…

Esala Poya
Esala Poya is the night in which the Bodhisattva was conceived in the womb of his mother Queen Maha Maya. Esala Full Moon Poya is also the day in which Prince Siddhartha renounced his royal lifestyle…

Nikini Poya
Nikini Poya is the second Poya in the Vas season and falls during August. Nikini Poya marks the first Dhamma Sangayana (convocation) of Buddhist monks …

Binara Poya
Binara Poya (Binara Pura Pasalosvaka Poya Day) usually falls in September. Binara Poya is the day when Sri Lankan Buddhists commemorate the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasanaya (Bhikkhuni Sangha) or Order of the Female Buddhist Monastic…

Vap Poya
Vap Poya (Vap Pura Pasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Day) marks the end of the 3 month retreat by Buddhist monks known as the Vas ‘rainy’ season…

Il Poya
Il Poya. Il Full Moon Poya day, the penultimate Poya of the year, usually falls in the week of November and is a holiday in Sri Lanka. Followers of the Buddhist faith visit the temple with family members and offer flowers…

Unduvap Poya
Unduvap Poya (also spelled Unduwap or Uduvap) is the last Full Moon Poya day of the year and commemorates the arrival of Sangamitta Theri in Sri Lanka with a Bo sapling from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in India during the month of Unduwap…