70% of Sri Lankan population following Buddhism, majority of the public holidays in 2019 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 2019. This table shows you the date of the holiday, the occasion as well as which sectors remain closed on that particular holiday.

Date Week Day Holiday
January – 05 Saturday
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
January – 15 Tuesday
Tamil Thai Pongal Day
February – 04 Saturday
National Day
February – 04 Monday
Nawam Full Moon Poya Day
February – 17 Sunday
Mahasivarathri Day
March – 06 Wednesday
Medin Full Moon Poya Day
April – 04 Thursday
Bak Full Moon Poya Day
April – 13 Saturday
Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
April – 14 Sunday
Good Friday
April – 19 Friday
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
May – 01 Wednesday
May Day
May – 04 Saturday
Wesak Full Moon Poya Day
May – 05 Sunday
Day following Wesak Full Moon Poya Day
June – 02 Sunday
Poson Full Moon Poya Day
June – 19 Wednesday
Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day)
July – 02 Tuesday
Esala Full Moon Poya Day
July – 31 Wednesday
Adhi Esala Full Moon Poya Day
August – 26 Monday
Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day)
August – 30 Friday
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
September – 28 Saturday
Binara Full Moon Poya Day
October – 28 Monday
Vap Full Moon Poya Day
November – 11 Monday
Deepavali Festival Day
November – 24 Sunday
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday)
November – 26 Tuesday
Il Full Moon Poya Day
December – 25 Wednesday
Christmas Day
December – 26 Thursday
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day