Sri lanka

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Kandy Dalada Perahera

A colourful religious pageant with historical, traditional and cultural essence, taking place at different times of the year. While the flagship pageant - the famous Kandy Dalada Perahera held to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic - a great spectacle that parades the streets of Kandy for 10 consecutive days with elephants clad in glittering costumes; Kandyan Chieftains in traditional nilame attire; spirited whip crackers, dancers and torch bearers- comes alive in August, similar vibrant processions orgnaised by different temples elsewhere hit the streets of Colombo and suburbs from time to time. Month of January sees the famous Kelaniya Duruthu Perahera taking place while the gala Ganagaramaya Navam Perahera happens in February. The Bellanwila Esala pageant held in August and the Kotte Perahera held in September are also significant pageants that are crowd-pullers.

Vesak Celebrations

Celebrated on the day of the Full Moon in the month of May, Vesak festival commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and the Parinibbana (Passing Away) of Lord Buddha- hence referred to as the Thrice Blessed Day. This Festival of Lights see every nook and corner of the street, temples, most of the homes and commercial buildings getting illuminated with Vesak lanterns, pandals, clay oil lamps as offerings to Lord Buddha- some of it being so magnificent attracts thousands of people.

A unique feature about the Vesak festival in Sri Lanka is the concept of ‘dansal’ (Alms Hall) where food is given away to the people, free of charge.  If you happen to notice people queuing up near a particular spot with the aroma of food and sometimes loud music- a dansala -temporary Alms Hall, it is then where you could just walk in and enjoy a generous meal given away in the true spirit of donating food. 

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Vesak Celebrations

Celebrated on the day of the Full Moon in the month of May, Vesak festival commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and the Parinibbana (Passing Away) of Lord Buddha- hence referred to as the Thrice Blessed Day. This Festival of Lights see every nook and corner of the street, temples, most of the homes and commercial buildings getting illuminated with Vesak lanterns, pandals, clay oil lamps as offerings to Lord Buddha- some of it being so magnificent attracts thousands of people.

A unique feature about the Vesak festival in Sri Lanka is the concept of ‘dansal’ (Alms Hall) where food is given away to the people, free of charge.  If you happen to notice people queuing up near a particular spot with the aroma of food and sometimes loud music- a dansala -temporary Alms Hall, it is then where you could just walk in and enjoy a generous meal given away in the true spirit of donating food. 

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Nallurr Fest

A resplendent chariots festival held at Jaffna Nallur Kandasamy Kovil every July and August. A significant month-long festival of the Hindus taking place at this famous place of Hindu worship in the Jaffna Peninsula sees a culmination of celebrations leading to the processions parading the street with the mammoth 50 feet tall illuminated chariot. The chariot carrying Lord Murugan as its presiding deity thus displays its great artistry- a work of art so unique assembled with faith and devotion by the craftsmen for the chariot festivals. Amidst a cascade of lotus and rose petals, the chariot parades shedding its blessings and spirituality. The grandeur of the procession, the sea of devotes chanting “Haro Hara”  and their steadfast devotion will surely leave you impressed.

Udappu Festival

A festival in a fishing village in Udappu in close proximity to Chilaw seeking divine blessings to safeguard the community from possible harm. This 18 day festival commencing with flag hosting, chanting and prayers by the priest, concludes with an astonishing fire walking ceremony. Much to your amazement you will find devotees getting processed by the spirits amidst the ringing of bells, playing of drums and chanting. The final day- the highlight of the event-  is when everyone gathers in front of the Draupadi Amman Kovil in Udappu to see men  in the village, clad in white sarong and bare chested walking on layers and layers of hot coal to profess their devotion to the deity.  A great spectacle it is.

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Udappu Festival

A festival in a fishing village in Udappu in close proximity to Chilaw seeking divine blessings to safeguard the community from possible harm. This 18 day festival commencing with flag hosting, chanting and prayers by the priest, concludes with an astonishing fire walking ceremony. Much to your amazement you will find devotees getting processed by the spirits amidst the ringing of bells, playing of drums and chanting. The final day- the highlight of the event-  is when everyone gathers in front of the Draupadi Amman Kovil in Udappu to see men  in the village, clad in white sarong and bare chested walking on layers and layers of hot coal to profess their devotion to the deity.  A great spectacle it is.

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Sinhala and Tamil New Year

The travelling of the Sun from Pisces to Aries heralding a brand New Year is a time for celebrations in Sri Lankan, particularly for the two Sri Lankan ethnic groups - Sinhalese and Tamils. The dawn of a brand new year heralding new hope and a new beginning is a time to honour the age old traditions and the elderly; hence celebrated with customs performed at auspicious times. From harvesting thanksgiving to observing the new moon; preparation of food, enjoying a family meal together and setting out to work- everything happens according to an auspicious time. A time look forward to by both young and the old where the traditional games are played and exchange of sweetmeats and gifts take place. A national festival so unique that anyone can be a part of.

Kala Pola

An open air art- fair to hit the streets of Colombo annually which attracts country wide artists showcasing and selling their paintings, abstract art and sculptures along the sidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mw Colombo 07. A flagship event in the cultural calendar looked forward to by art loving public both local and foreign who come with their families to enjoy the creative work on display and purchase the work. If you are in Colombo around February, Kala Pola is something to watch out for. Open to the public free of charge; Only a day-long event though.

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Kala Pola

An open air art- fair to hit the streets of Colombo annually which attracts country wide artists showcasing and selling their paintings, abstract art and sculptures along the sidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mw Colombo 07. A flagship event in the cultural calendar looked forward to by art loving public both local and foreign who come with their families to enjoy the creative work on display and purchase the work. If you are in Colombo around February, Kala Pola is something to watch out for. Open to the public free of charge; Only a day-long event though.

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