4 Major Cultural Events in Sri Lanka

Plan your trip around a major Sri Lankan event!

Part of the joy in visiting a vibrant destination like Sri Lanka is immersing oneself in the culture and the best time to do this at one of the many events that take place in the country each year.

Whether it’s the large scale religious celebrations, like Christmas or New Year, that engulf the country on an annual basis or more local events that attract thousands of Sri Lankans into a small town or village; by planning your trip around one of these major events you can witness a slice of authentic Sri Lankan culture and get swept along with the excitement. As a developing country, there are more and more events being added to to Sri Lanka’s cultural calendar every year – so if you’re looking for a film festival, jazz night or fashion convention make sure to ask around when you arrive.

Before you book your tickets and hotel rooms, see if you can coincide your visit with one of these big events in Sri Lanka:

Sinhalese New Year

One of the biggest public holidays in the country, the Sinhalese New Year takes place on the 14th April in the Gregorian Calendar, this coincides with many other New Year celebrations across other South and Southeast Asian countries. Celebrated by Sinhalese and Tamil Sri Lankans alike, this holiday has long been celebrated by both Buddhists and Hindus in the country making it a multi-cultural event that is very Sri Lankan, without being overtly exclusive.

Where? All over the country When? 14th April

The Festival of the Tooth

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to Kandy, home of the iconic Kandian dancers as well as the Temple of the Tooth, one of Sri Lanka’s biggest cultural landmarks. The temple is the final resting place of the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha and as such is a common pilgrimage destination for believers and non-believers alike. Buddhism is one of the main religions in Sri Lanka, so it follows that the procession, which pays homage to the Sacred Relic itself, is one of the grandest the country has to offer. Expect extravagant dancing, elephants in lavish garments and traditional drum music.

Where? Kandy When? Late August

Colombo Fashion Week

Inaugurated in 2003, Colombo Fashion Week has gone from strength to strength in that time and become the biggest Fashion event in the Sri Lankan calendar, expanding over two city-wide shows that attract some of the biggest names in Asian fashion. Sponsored by HSBC, the main event takes place in March each year, with a Summer Swimwear event taking place during July. Besides being a great showcase for emerging designers, Colombo Fashion Week is a chance to revel in Sri Lanka’s ambition and passion for the clothing industry.

Where? Colombo When? March 13th-18th & July

Hikkaduwa Beach Fest

Hikka Fest, as it’s commonly known to the locals, is the closest thing Sri Lanka has to a music festival that us Brits are familiar with. For five whole days, thousands of people flock to the South East coastal town, which is just a short drive from Galle. The festival is very much a family friendly event and is absolutely free for all. Dance all day to the best DJs in the country, eat tasty food whilst relaxing on the beach and enjoy sensational fireworks every night to cap it off – this is a festival that’s really worth making the trip for.

Where? Hikkaduwa When? July…

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6 Must See Sights In Sri Lanka

A small island filled with countless treasures.

Although it can be easy to fall into the local way of life in Sri Lanka, and slow your pace of life down to a crawl, don’t forget – you’re on holiday! You won’t be there forever, so try not to waste all your time lying on the beach and eating delicious food. Inside it’s 65,00 square kilometre of beautiful land there is a veritable treasure trove of sights to take in – that you won’t find anywhere else on earth. 

Adam’s Peak


Over 2,000 km high, known locally as ‘Butterfly Mountain’, Adam’s Peak is a landmark that can be seen for miles around in the region of Samanala. It’s name is taken from an imprint found at the top of the mountain, revered greatly by Christian, Islamic and Hindu faiths. Due to the sacred nature that is attributed to it; many devotees, pilgrims and tourists flock to it’s summit all year around.

Access to the peak of the mountain is provided by 6 trails, all of which are lit up at night to allow access during the early hours of the morning. The tradition of making this ascent for the rising of the sun, is something that has existed for decades now – add a spiritual touch to your visit, by following the pilgrims to the top and watch the mountain’s shadow race across the surrounding landscape.



One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Anurahapura is a verified World Heritage Site (one of eight that Sri Lanka can lay claim to). A city of vibrancy and decadent history, it’s almost a microcosm of all that makes Sri Lanka great. Gorgeous nature (in the form of ancient trees and wildlife) collide with wonderfully preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilisation.

The ancient city has been dated as far back as the 10th Century BC and, although the sites are well preserved, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how much freedom tourists are given to explore the four core suburbs. If you’d like to do some research before you go there are endless amounts of historical volumes and ancient texts to give you context, before you dive head first into your Indiana Jones style adventure.

Yala National Park


Although most visitors aren’t aware when they visit, Sri Lanka’s National Park is home to well over 300 different species of animals. All of which you can spy from the regular Safari Tours that are not only affordable, but almost always worth taking. Unlike African Safari Tours, where the animals roam over far bigger territories, Yala is relatively small in scale.

Boasting the highest concentration of Leopards in the world, as well as several endemic species of animals such as the Sri Lankan flying snake and Sri Lnkan krait. Arguably, the Park’s biggest attraction are is Sri Lankan Elephants who are not only plentiful but also extremely friendly – often approaching vehicles to greet visitors. Tour guides know their stuff and also have a great eye for spotting the animals.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Golden Temple of Dambulla, another World Heritage Sight, is home to 153 Buddha statues, including three kinds and four gods and godddesses (including iconic Hindu statues of Ganesh and Vishnu). The cave walls and ceilings are covered with paintings and patterns, totalling 2,000 square metres of gorgeous mural.

Human remains, discovered by archaeologists, have been dated as up to 2700 years old – meaning that the first Sri Lankans could well have dwelled in these caves. Five caves make up the bulk of the Temple there. Although it might feel like more of a natural history sight – the Temple is considered a sacred space, so the usual rules for these place still apply. This is a peaceful spot of introspection, that you won’t want to miss.

Sigiriya Rock


The real-life basis for Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Yakkagala’ from his 1979 novel Fountains of Paradise, it’s not hard to see why the novelist was so inspired upon seeing this place. Surrounded by lush grass land, and trees, the rock fortress stands nearly 200m high and dominates the entire landscape.

Situated near the city of Dambulla, the History of Sigiriya is a rich and storied one – illustrated by the well reserved frescoes and murals that line the side of its winding stairway. Climb the sturdy, yet shaky metal stairs. around the side of the rock to view the hundreds of beautiful ladies painted for the warring leader Kashyapa. He also commissioned the huge stretches of man-made gardens and pools that surround the massive monument.



The second most ancient city in Sri Lanka, this settlement dates back as far 1070 – the Ancient City is absolutely rammed with statues, temples and ancient buildings. Although the area is about to go through an intense development period – the buildings have still maintained their ancient grandeur from the past.

The area has long been an attraction for tourists; the blissful combination of  lush forestland, ancient ruins and tourist-friendly hotels winning the hearts of thousands of visitors a year. In addition to the 400,000 or so people that live in the surround district, the area is almost famous for its considerable population of toque macaques. Although you can find these primates in other parts of Sri Lanka, nowhere else are they as comfortable or numerous.…

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True Luxury In Sri Lanka (Luxe Pools)

What makes a luxury Hotel truly luxurious?

What pushes a location up from simply very good to an exercise in human pleasure and comfort so fine and excessive that it enters the realms of luxury?

How does a Hotel proprietor create and experience and a world inside their establishment that so perfectly insulates the guest from the rough edges and brutal truths of the reality outside and sleeps them into a world that is both real and unreal in its existence as pure pleasure, without the pain and cruelty that marks out reality?

It’s a complicated challenge and it appears that they keys to rising to it are multiple. Here, for your delight and for the pride of the nation of Sri Lanka are a few top tips:

The Devil Is In The Detail


It’s all about quality and recognizing that when it comes to designing the ultimate hotel experience, everything is important.

OK, you have a nice clean mirror, but does it’s design add to the theme of the room? Is it framed in gold? Sure, you have a pool on the balcony, but is it made to extenuate the features around it? Is it just any old pool, or is it one of the highly sought after one piece pools by Luxe? Sure, maybe you have airport transport, but do you have a full 20 car strong set of BMW 7-series Limousines, like the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli (Mumbai)?

These things matter.

Treat them like royalty…


You have to be proud of every guest that chooses to visit your establishment, just in the same way that you’d be proud if the Queen of Sheba had chosen your hotel.

You would treat them well because you want to prove that they made the right choice and that you can provide an experience they will love and remember, potentially cherish for the rest of their life. That is fundamental to any efforts to create a luxury hotel experience.

More, next time…

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Getting In, Getting Out, Getting On and Getting…. Get!

Sri Lanka is such a beautiful place. Have you seen it?

You really have to see it. It has trees and beaches. It has sky and sand. It has local food, and local customs, and local dances, and some local people, somewhere, apparently.

In Sri Lanka the sun never sets and the moon never rises, which leads to dangerously erratic tidal patterns in the whole region.

In Sri Lanka, the party never stops and the smiles never drop. Which means local industry is almost non-existent, but worker satisfaction is at an all time high.

In Sri Lanka, everyone is part of one big family! Which means there is a lot of resentment and ill feeling generally amongst the population generally.

In Sri Lanka, there is so much joy that there is all the joy and there is none left for everyone else. Sorry everyone else!


Happy happy happy happy!

But how to get there? Walk?

Well, it’s approximately 6,499 miles from London to Sri Lanka. Approximately. Which would take roughly 2,064 hours, about 12 weeks, to walk if you never once rested or stopped for food. Or slept. But you don’t want to do that. Because you are most likely a full human being with all the things that a human being has (stomach, head, foot, a Facebook account) and so need all the things a human needs (food, water, sleep, a Facebook account) you can’t really be expected to walk non stop for 2,064 hours without dying from exhaustion, starvation, thirst and a Facebook account.

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So I would recommend driving to a gosh darn airport and flying all the way to blinking Sri Lanka on one of those gosh darned airports that they have now.

So yeah! Yeah? Yeah! And here at Sri Lanka tourism we are here to help: Click here for pictures of Sri Lanka, click here for cheap parking at airports around the country, click here for flights to Sri Lanka, click here for pictures of pit bulls with flowers on their heads. So yeah! We are to stay and here to help!

Sri Lanka ho!

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How Does One ‘Sri Lanka?’

Sri Lanka is a total country.

Just like Indonesia, or Peru, or Jamaica or like, Peru.

Sri Lanka is officially a country as recognised by the United Nations of Countries. It is also a real place.

Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘I’ve never seen Sri Lanka, I’ve never touched Sri Lanka, why should I trust you that Sri Lanka is a real thing? You could just be trying to con me you con man, and I’m no fool, I’m not going to Sri Lanka till I can see Sri Lanka and make sure that it actually exists. Because I make decisions based on a little thing called evidence!  Yeah, ever heard of that you stunted fool? Evidence, yeah and logic you idiot Ha, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.’

Well, may I point to you that you wont be able to see and touch Sri Lank to prove that it exists without going to Sri Lanka to prove that it exists. So my advice to you would be to.. go to Sri Lanka!


Next question: “Yeah but aren’t there better countries to go too?”

Well, that depends what you mean by ‘better’: how are you judging countries now?

There will never be one way for judging countries, you really can’t say ‘this country is better than that country’ other countries will be better and worse in varying ways. You can’t let yourself be frozen into inaction by the fear that any one thing you choose will be potentially worse than something else you could possibly choose. Just choose! Just make a decision and go! And in this case, just go to Sri Lanka! 


That’s right, did I not mention the waterfalls? Oh, how silly of me! Did I really forget to mention the beautiful waterfalls? Oh how careless. Did I actually completely let it slip my mind that there are many beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka?

That really is absent minded of me. How silly, how mad, how crazy, how unforgivable.

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