Festivals & Holidays

Festivals & Holidays
Tamil Thai Pongal Day 15. January
14. January
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day 23. January 12. January
National Independence Day 4. February 4. February
Navam Full Moon Poya Day 22. February 11. February
Mahasivarathri Day (Birth of Lord Shiva) 7. March 24. February
Madin Full Moon Poya Day 22. March 12. March
Good Friday 25. March 14. April
Day prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day 13. April 13. April
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day 14. April 14. April
Bak Full Moon Poya Day 21. April 11. April
May Day / Labour Day 1. May 1. May
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day - Buddha Purnima 21. May 11. May
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day 22. May 12. May
Poson Full Moon Poya Day 19. June 9. June
Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day) 6. July 26. June
Esala Full Moon Poya Day (Perahera/Kandy only) 19. July 9. July
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day 17. August 7. August
Id -Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day) 12. September 2. September
Adhi Binara Full Moon Poya Day    
Binara Full Moon Poya Day 16. September 6. September
Vap Full Moon Poya Day 16. October 5. October
Deepavali Festival Day 29. October 19. October
Il Full Moon Poya Day 14. November 4. November
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet´s Birthday) 12. December 1. December
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day 13. December 3. December
Christmas Day
25. December
25. December

Id-Ul-Alha occurs on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja. It is one of two Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. Eid ul-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. Others celebrate Eid-ul Adha as it marks the end of the Pilgrimage or Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year. Like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha also begins with a short prayer followed by a khutba. In Mecca, the Khutba is delivered from Mount Arafat.

Start of Ramadan: 29. June 2014, 18. June 2015, 7. June 2016, 27. May 2017



Duruthu (full moon Poya day in January)
In honour of Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka. This visit too took place in the first year of The Buddha's Supreme Enlightenment.

Navam (full moon Poya day in February)
Celebrates the following events in Buddhist history: Entrance into the order of two leading disciples of The Buddha (Sariputta and Maha Moggalana), The Buddha proclaims for the first time a code of fundamental ethical precepts for the monks. The Buddha announces that within three months His Parinibbana (death) will take place

Medin (full moon Poya day in March)
Commemorates the visit of The Buddha to his home to preach to his father King Suddhodana and other relatives and show them the path to enlightenment and final deliverance.

Bak (full moon Poya day in April)
It commemorates the second visit of The Buddha to Sri Lanka which took place in the fifth year of his Supreme Enlightenment

Vesak (full moon Poya day in May)
The Buddhist calendar begins with the month of Vesak. On Vesak Day, Buddhists world over commemorate the triple anniversary of Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gautama The Buddha. Triple anniversary because The Buddha was born, attained Supreme Enlightenment at the age of thirty five, and after a successful ministry of forty five years attained Parinirvana or passed away on a Vesak (May) full moon Poya Day. It was also on a Vesak full moon Poya Day, in the eighth year of his enlightenment, that The Buddha made his third and final visit to Sri Lanka. On this full moon Poya begins the 2541 year of the Buddha.

Poson (full moon Poya day in June)
It commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahat Maha Mahinda (son of King Asoka of India) at Mihintale in the third century B.C. Ven Mahinda established the Dispensation of The Buddha (Buddhasasana) in Sri Lanka

Esala (full moon Poya day in July)
Commemorates the deliverance of the first sermon to the five ascetics and setting in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma (Dhammachakka) at Sarnath Benares, India. The essence of this sermon is the explanation of the Four Noble Truths: The Noble Truth of Suffering or dissatisfaction or conflicts (Dukkha), the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. And The Noble Eight-fold Path.

Nikini (full moon Poya day in August)
During the month of August the conducting of the first Dhamma Sangayana (Convocation) is commemorated. This was held three months after the passing away of The Buddha. Five hundred Arahat Theros participated in the convocation which was held over seven months in the cave at the foot of the Rajagahanuvara Vebhara Rock

Binara (full moon Poya day in September)
Commemorates The Buddha's visit to heaven to preach to his mother and celestial multitude. Also the commencing of the Bhikkhuni (nun's) Order. Pajapati Gotami approached The Buddha and implored him to establish the Bhikkhuni Order.

Vap (full moon Poya day in October)
The significant events commemorated during this month are: the conclusion of The Buddha's preaching of the Abhidhamma for three months to his mother in the Heavenly realm (devaloka), King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka sending envoys to King Asoka requesting him to send his daughter Arahat Sanghamitta Theri to Sri Lanka to establish the Bhikkhuni Sasana (Order of Nuns).

Ill (full moon Poya day in November)
Celebrates the obtaining of Vivarana (the assurance of becoming a Buddha) by the Bodhisatta Maitriya and the commissioning of 60 disciples by The Buddha to disperse his teachings. Also the conclusion of the three month retreat (vassana).

Unduvap (full moon Poya day in December)
Arrival of the Bo-tree sapling. This was brought to Sri Lanka from India by Buddhist Theri Sanghamitta, and it is this very tree that is venerated by Buddhists in Anuradhapura. It is also the oldest documented tree in the world. Sanghamitta Theri established the Bhikkhuni Sasana (the Order of Nuns).


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