Special Events, Seasons and Festivals in Sri Lanka
Kandy Esela Perehera
One of the grandest of Sri Lanka’s cultural festivals, the Kandy Esela Perehara takes place once every year, in July or August, to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic and the gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and the goddess Pattini. Setting off from the premises of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, the colourful procession journeys the streets of the historic city of Kandy, as thousands from all corners of the world gather to witness it.
Where to stay: Jetwing Kandy Gallery
Undoubtedly the most prominent landmark in Jaffna, the Nallur Kandaswami Kovil is venerated by Hindu devotees across the globe. Held in this holy site every year in July, August or September, is the 25 day-long Nallur festival, in celebration of the Hindu Lord Murugan. Glorious and elaborate, the series of ceremonies end with the chariot parade called “Ther” – a procession worth witnessing.
Paddy Harvesting Festivals
Rice - the staple food of the island nation - is cultivated during the Yalà (April-July) and Maha (November-February) seasons and to date, Sri Lankans follow traditional rituals passed down through generations of farming families. Witness the celebrations of paddy cultivation and immerse yourself in an authentic Sri Lankan farming experience as the locals prepare the lands, sow the rice and harvest the paddy with utmost reverence and dedication.
Where to stay: Jetwing Kaduruketha
Recognized as one of the most magnificent wildlife spectacles in the world, the elephant gathering in Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks is an experience not to be missed when in Sri Lanka. Witness the largest gathering of Asian elephants as hundreds from all corners of the North Central Province make their way to the Minneriya and Kaudulla tanks and graze and laze in their close-knit herds every year, during the dry season (July to September).
The water surrounding our small island nation is home to the largest animals to have existed on Earth – blue whales. While in Sri Lanka, embark on a whale watching adventure to witness these magnificent creatures and mischievous dolphins swim and leap right in front of you. As whales migrate along the south east coast of the island, the ideal locations for whale watching are Trincomalee, from May to September and Mirissa, from November to April.
Blessed with waves all year round, Sri Lanka has several point breaks and beaches ideal for a great surfing trip, from beginners to experienced surfers. Although you can go surfing in both coasts of the island, the eastern shores are undoubtedly the best. Dotted with multiple great surf spots such as the world-famous Arugam Bay to Pottuvil Point to Whiskey Point, during the months of April to October, surfers world-over flock to the east coast to catch a wave.