Srilanka Festivals

Famous Summer Festivals in Sri Lanka to Attend

Sri Lanka is a country that encompasses many cultures and combines their rituals to form their own. We are experiencing a dramatic change in culture through various summer festivals in Sri Lanka. These famous summer festivals in Sri Lanka offer a unique opportunity for tourists to feel as if they are part of the festival procession. The shows not only the culture and religions of the country but also its interesting history and beautiful traditions. Here is a list of the most exciting and interesting summer festivals you can experience during a summer vacation in Sri Lanka.

Best Summer Festivals in Sri Lanka


1. Galle Literary Festival

Galle Literary Festival
Galle Literary Festival

The Galle Literary Festival is certainly just one of the most important events in Sri Lanka in 2020. Summarizing both Asian and Western winters, this annual literary festival is a five-day attraction that celebrates the charm of the written word. On a cutting-edge occasion, this top summer festival in Sri Lanka has actually been competing for more than a decade, in an intimate atmosphere where reading lovers can meet writers around the world, talk about popular publications, and discover new works from famous and novice writers.

When: June

Where: Galle Dutch Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka2

2. Poson Festival

Poson Festival
Poson Festival

Poson Poya (June) celebrates the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. This most famous summer festival in Sri Lanka is celebrated in the temples around the island, but the biggest festivals go to Mihintale, where the Mahinda Buddhist embassy converted King Devanampiya in 247 BC, developing Buddhism as the national faith of the Sinhalese.

When: On the full moon day of June

Where: Mihintale and Anuradhapura

Read About: Major Cities in Sri Lanka

3. Vel Festival

Vel Festival
Vel Festival

Vel is Sri Lanka’s most important Hindu festival, reflecting the religious and cultural heritage of Hinduism. The main festivities take place in Colombo, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the island. This best summer festival in Sri Lanka dedicated to the war god Skandha commemorates the victory over the forces of evil and worships him three times, with him. During the main Colombo parade, which begins in Pettah and ends in Bambalapitiya, Skandha is taken in a dazzling golden chariot, which is pulled by hundreds of devotees, simply dressed in white, with their faces smeared with holy ashes. Accompanied by the main event, hundreds of musicians, dancers, acrobats, and elephants meander through different parts of the city. Combined with the aroma of burning incense and jasmine flowers, the sound of drums, bells and songs, and colorful performers marching in the streets, the Vel Festival is spectacular and mesmerizing.

When: July or August

Where: Colombo

4. Kataragama Esala Festival

Kataragama Esala Festival
Kataragama Esala Festival

One of Sri Lanka’s most significant Hindu festivals, it brings countless devotees from all over the island to the holy city of Kataragama in southern Sri Lanka over a two-week period. All major religions seek divine help and repentance from the deity by admiring rituals such as skin piercing as well as self-mutilation.

When: July or August

Where: Kataragama town in Southern Sri Lanka

5. Nallur Festival

Nallur Festival
Nallur Festival

The 25-day, huge and spectacular Nallur Festival, held in Jaffna, rivals the big celebration of the Kandy Esala Perahera celebration. The remarkable Kandaswamy Temple will be at the center of the festival, where thousands of followers will gather. Men dress in white sarongs and women wear the best heels that turn the temple complex into a sea of   bright colors. Nallur hosts a number of parades featuring juggernaut swimmers, performers, and glittering thrones in the city. Nallur’s 24th day marks the Ther holidays when a huge chariot is pulled by hundreds of people in sarong clothes, and it will be the biggest night of the holiday. The next day of this beautiful summer festival in Sri Lanka devoted devotees show self-mutilation as they drive skewers through their bodies and go to the temple at the beat of drums and stop dancing regularly. Fans who perform this self-worship believe that God will protect them from all pain.

When: August to September

Where: Jaffna

Visit: Best Beaches in Seoul

6. Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Sinhala and Tamil New Year

The Sinhalese and Tamil New Years take place at the beginning of the lunar year, typically in April, where the whole island comes to life with colorful celebrations and a vibrant spirit. Before the New Year celebrations, Sri Lankans prepare to clean and decorate their houses, make traditional sweets and desserts, and spend time with loved ones. During this most popular summer festival in Sri Lanka locals decorate their best clothes and take part in a number of activities such as blessing their children with vegetable oils, sharing the first home holiday of the year with the family, launching fireworks and playing on the street. Sri Lankan New Year is an exciting time to visit Teardrop Island, however, like many other holidays, many businesses close so families can celebrate together.

When: April

Where: Across the island

7. Vesak Poya

Vesak Poya
Vesak Poya

This important religious and cultural festival, observed and celebrated by Buddhists, begins on the full moon of the lunar month of Vesak, which is May according to the Gregorian calendar. This week-long celebration, known as the Festival of Light, commemorates the birth of the Buddha, the attainment of enlightenment, and his passage to nirvana. During Vesak’s time, the whole island, and Colombo in particular, becomes a kaleidoscope of colorful lights and lanterns while devotees distribute food and drink to passers-by and spend their days in the local temple, engaging in religious activities such as praying and fasting. Amidst the festivities, the most important are the colorful lanterns and lights in front of every Buddhist home, temple, and shop, a truly glamorous sight. In May, Vesak Poya is a wonderful and lively summer festival in Sri Lanka that visitors can experience, however, the sale of alcohol and fresh meat is generally prohibited during the week.

When: May

Where: Across the island, but Colombo’s celebrations are on a grand scale

Hope you enjoyed the brief list of the top 5 summer festivals in Sri Lanka that offer umpteen beach sports and fabulous scenic views of the city. There are various famous spots at the mentioned Festivals of All Seasons Celebrated in Sri Lanka which delivers many attractions. For more engaging blogs like these head on to our other blogs and ping us in the comment sections below if you hold any queries regarding the travel destinations.

Jagjit Singh

I am Jagjit a traveling enthusiast, at Adequate Travel, I am sharing my personal traveling experience with all of you which will help you in making your trip memorable.

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