70% of Sri Lankan population following Buddhism, majority of the public holidays in 2020 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 2020. This table shows you the date of the holiday, the occasion as well as which sectors remain closed on that particular holiday.
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
Tamil Thai Pongal Day
Nawam Full Moon Poya Day
Medin Full Moon Poya Day
Bak Full Moon Poya Day
Day prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
Eid-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day)
Poson Full Moon Poya Day
Esala Full Moon Poya Day
Eid-Ul-Alha (Hajj Festival Day)
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
Binara Full Moon Poya Day
Adhi-Vap Full Moon Poya Day
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday)
Vap Full Moon Poya Day
Deepavali Festival Day
Ill Full Moon Poya Day
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day