The best cultural experiences in Sri Lanka: Temples, festivals, and traditional rituals

The little island of Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of bliss to those who are looking for cultural experiences. The country boasts of a history of over 2500 years. Nurtured by the glories of this magnificent past, the culture of Sri Lanka is undoubtedly quite vibrant.

Your tour in Sri Lanka will be incomplete without a few cultural experiences. There are events and festivals happening all throughout the year so you will certainly be able to witness the grandeur of the country’s culture during your tour. Your tour guide will be able to give you details about the events which take place in the regions that you visit so you can plan an interesting itinerary.

One of the grandest Buddhist festivals in the world is the procession of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, which is known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. The festival, which is also called Kandy Esala Perahera takes place every year in the months of July and August. During this festival a relic of a tooth of Buddha which is enshrined in the temple, is taken in procession in the streets of Kandy, while countless numbers of devotees watch in reverence. The procession is complete with fire dancers, drummers and gloriously adorned elephants.

The Vesak Festival is also quite an interesting one in Sri Lanka. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. During the festival it is common to see lanterns decorating almost all houses in the country! There are ‘dansal’ or free food/ drink stalls, organized by devotees in the true spirit of giving. The festival takes place in the month of May, on full moon day.

Sri Lanka has a multi-cultural and multi religious society. While Buddhism is the main religion in Sri Lanka, Hinduism has also been a part of the culture of Sri Lanka for a very long time. Among the colorful Hindu festivals in the country, the Vel Festival is indeed quite special. The festival is dedicated to the war god Skandha. It takes place in the city of Colombo in July and August.

Kataragama festival is also not to be missed if you are visiting the country during the months of July and August. The festival takes place in the remote village of Kataragama and attracts large numbers of locals. There are fire eaters, jugglers and dancers adding sheer color to the event!

When you travel with a seasoned tour operator in Sri Lanka you will get the chance to witness the magnificence of Sri Lanka’s unique culture with immense ease.

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