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.

DateWeek DayHoliday
2020-Jan-10Friday
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Jan-15Wednesday
Tamil Thai Pongal Day
2020-Feb-04Tuesday
National Day
2020-Feb-08Saturday
Nawam Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Feb-21Friday
Mahasivarathri Day
2020-Mar-09Monday
Medin Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Apr-07Tuesday
Bak Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Apr-10Friday
Good Friday
2020-Apr-12Sunday
Day prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
2020-Apr-13Monday
Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day
2020-May-01Friday
May Day
2020-May-07Thursday
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
2020-May-08Friday
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
2020-May-25Monday
Eid-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day)
2020-Jun-05Friday
Poson Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Jul-04Saturday
Esala Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Aug-01Saturday
Eid-Ul-Alha (Hajj Festival Day)
2020-Aug-03Monday
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Sep-01Tuesday
Binara Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Oct-01Saturday
Adhi-Vap Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Oct-30Friday
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday)
2020-Oct-30Friday
Vap Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Nov-14Saturday
Deepavali Festival Day
2020-Nov-29Sunday
Ill Full Moon Poya Day
2020-Dec-25Friday
Christmas Day
2020-Dec-29Tuesday
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day
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