Culture and Festivals of SriLanka:

Culture and Festivals of SriLanka:

Are you planning a trip after this quarantine ends? Or are you someone like me who loves exploring new cultures and traditions?

Well, if so you just clicked the right thing for you.

Here am I presenting you with a little tear-shaped island you must not ignore while planning your trip.

Yeah! You got that right.

It is SriLanka.

We will dive into the cultures and festivals celebrated in SriLanka, just to get a better out view of the life there.

But before doing that let’s have a look at the geography of this little island.

Geography:

Srilankan Beauty

Surrounded by vast spread sandy beaches, known for its lush green sceneries and huge tea fields, this heavenly island lies in the Indian Ocean, south-west of The Bay of Bengal and south-east of The Arabian Sea.

It is considered to be a part of India, Nepal and Maldives. Along with that, it lies in south Asia. However, Palk strait and Bulk of Manner separate it from the subcontinent.

Srilanka enjoys a vast range of landforms as it has mountains, Central highlands, Plains and coastal Lowlands.

Culture:

A country is always represented by its cultural values.

 So, before planning your trip it is important to know the cultural and social values of the country you are planning to visit.

SriLanka is known for its cultural diversity. It is a land of freshness, uniqueness and colours. And the nation has a lot to showcase regarding their culture and traditions.

Major Religions and Beliefs:

SriLanka is a house to all 4 major religions of the world i.e

Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. This is one of the reasons for its cultural diversity.

People from all the 4 religions have the freedom to practice their particular religious values thus adding to the beauty and charm of the SriLankan culture.

National Dress:

there is no specific national dress of SriLanka. However, usually, the dress code for women is saree and for men is sarongs.

However, people dress as per their choices and most of the population enjoys western dress code.

Languages:

SriLanka gives official status to Tamil and Sinhala languages however some of its population can communicate in Hindi and English as well.

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 Art and architecture:

SriLanka is considered a hub of diverse Buddhist Culture.

Srilanka is a house to a number of ancient Buddhist civilization designs.

The nations architecture mostly revolves around Buddhist architecture.

Srilankan cave temples, vatadage and stupas are known worldwide and are a great source of tourism. Thus helping the economy of the country.

Agriculture:

Tea Farming

Agriculture is just another diverse aspect of SriLanka. Sri Lanka produces rice. Lush green tree fields cover the countrysides of the country.

And the country is also rich in the production of oils, fruits and vegetables.

 

Cultural Values and Festivals in Srilanka:

If you are a person who loves celebrating and enjoy different festivals, then visiting this country must be on top of your bucket list.

SriLankan nation celebrates a number of different festivals including religion-based, culture-based and agriculture-based festivals. this nation has a number of cultural values to showcase to the world.

Celebrations are held according to the Tamil Lunar Calander.

 

Vesak Poya – Festival of lights (Buddhist)

Cultural Values

Vesak Poya is the festival of lights. Colombo is very prominent for this celebration. On the sight of the full moon, the entire country is enlightened by the special lanterns on the sight of the full moon. The celebration continues for a week.

Special colourful lanterns called Vesak kudu lighten up every street and house. These lanterns are said to depict the light of Buddha.

Kandy Esala Poya Perahera (Buddhist)

It is another important Buddhist festival celebrated in Kandy. Perahera means a procession. And this festival marks the arrival of the tooth relic of Buddha in the temple of the tooth.

This is an extremely vibrant occasion.

Crowds wearing vibrant clothes with elephants as vibrantly dressed as possible beat drums, dance and provide you with a site so vibrant that you won’t believe your eyes.

Processions are held all over SriLanka but the energy is boundless in Kandy where the temple of the tooth is situated.

Poson Poya Festival (Buddhist)

This Poya festival marks the arrival of Buddhism in SriLanka.

SriLanka celebrates Poson Poya. However, the celebrations are worth seeing in Mihintale.

Mihintale rock outcrop is considered to be the first place where Mahinda taught Buddhism to King Devanampiyatissa.

Christmas

Christian community celebrates Christmas throughout Srilanka. Srilanka being a democratic republic enjoys Christmas just like all other festivals with full zeal and zest.

Trees and other Christmas hangings add to the beauty of every street, Bazar and corner.

Malls offer special Christmas discounts for people.

Ramadan and Eid (Muslim)

2 basic occasions for Muslims i.e Ramadan and Eid are also respected and celebrated throughout SriLanka.

Restaurants in SriLanka offer special Iftar menus for Muslims to break their fasts. Eid is also considered a festival of blessings, sharing and feasting all over SriLanka.

Maha Shivarathri – Festival of Shiva (Hindu)

The night of lord shiva is celebrated with full energy throughout this “Pearl of Indian Ocean”.

Devotees take purification bath and fast throughout the day. Devotees bath the shiva Linga with Milk.

Some temples across the island have musical gatherings on this occasion as well.

 

 

Deepavali / Diwali (Hindu)

Symbolizing Lord Rama’s defeat of Ravana, Diwali The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated all over SriLanka.

Lamps and lights are lighted up in every street and house. Thus symbolizing the victory of light over darkness.

Out of all five days of celebration, the last day is the most vibrant. Devotees wear new clothes, exchange gifts and spread a message of love.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

This is not a Religion based but is a culture based festival, celebrated by every single SriLankan citizen.

All formal and government institutions are closed, marking the beginning of the new lunar year.

Life goes in a relax mode as all people spring clean their houses. Cook different meals and sweets, exchange gifts organize little competitions thus helping to increase the fun quotient in the land.

Independence day

4th February marks the Independence day of Sri Lanka. It got freedom from the Colonial Powers on 4th of Feb, 1948.

The nation celebrates this day with enthusiasm and patriotism throughout the tear-shaped land.

If you travel across SriLanka on this day, you will see parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, firework displays, cannon fire shows and many such cultural processions on your way.

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