Every country has its own unique cultures and traditions. When traveling to another country such as Sri Lanka, it is necessary to understand the culture and traditions to enjoy the authentic Sri Lanka cultural holiday. It is one thing to be part of a country’s culture and another to respect the culture and tradition that other people in other countries have.
Sri Lankans are known to be the smiling people. They enjoy a unique and humble lifestyle that touches art, entertainment, and music. Sri Lankans are known to be hospitable people. Aside from that, the country is known to have festivals that lasts the whole year round. Travelers enjoy staying in Sri Lanka because of the several bright and colorful traditions that they celebrate. Most of these festivities are religiously related and are based on the lunar calendar, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The following are some festivals that are celebrated in Sri Lanka:
o Poson-celebrated during the month of June, this is in commemoration of the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lankans. Processions are also held all over the country during this event.
o Duruthu-celebrated on the month of January, this marks Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. This is celebrated by means of a procession with drummers, dancers, and elephants that lasts for three nights.
o Vesak-celebrated during the month of May, this marks the death of the Buddha. Sri Lankans celebrate this by decorating their houses with bright Vesak lanterns. Temples give free meals to passers-by.
o Esala-celebrated during the month of July or August, this is offered to the Warrior god Kataragama. During these two months, the biggest and most special festivals are held, including the Festival of the August Moon. This is held for two weeks with processions that are highlighted with fire walking ceremony, in respect to the Warrior god.
o Unduvap– celebrated during the month of December, this is celebrated in commemoration to Sangamitta who is Asoka’s daughter. She was the one who bought a sapling from a Bodhi Tree and brought it to Sri Lanka.
o Muslim Festivals– since Muslims isolate themselves from the public, most of their festivals are not displayed to the public. Some of these festivities include Milad-un-Nabi, which is celebrated during December to commemorate the birth of Mohammed, Id-ul-Fitr or the end of Ramadam (Holy Fasting) and Haj, the traditional Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
The above traditions are a symbolism of Sri Lanka’s preservation of their much-respected culture. Travelers to Sri Lanka are awed with the festivities and has made them come back to experience them once again. The customs in Sri Lanka have been part of the Sri Lankan society for thousands of years. In fact, most cultures and traditions that they preserve are involved in their day-to-day activities, both in the social and religious aspect. Sri Lanka has embraced the advancing technology, but most of their customs and traditions are still evident in most parts of the country and still being religiously observed by many.