When to travel in Sri Lanka
The weather in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination with consistently warm temperatures and lots of sunshine.The island’s climate is so diverse it’s possible to travel in just a few hours from the tropical heat of the coast to the cool and misty uplands of the hill country.The best time if you want to travel the entire country is from January to April and from Mid-July to September.There are two separate monsoon seasons, one in the North-East -from October to January-, the other in the South-West -from May to July.The South-West coast and Central hills are best between December and April, which is also an ideal time for diving and whale watching or to enjoy the spectacular waterfalls.The South-West waters become rougher in April, followed by increased humidity in May, so these months through to September are best spent further North and on the East coast.The central hills remain cooler all year and the only months we’d recommend avoiding are October and November, when rainfall is less predictable.
Events in Sri Lanka.
Galle Literary Festival takes place annually in late January or early February.
Maha Shivarathri or Padmarajarathri means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is a night devoted to paying homage to Lord Shiva by Hindus.
Medin Poya is the day when Buddha visited his father King Suddodhana for the first time as the “Samma Sambuddha” (Fully Enlightened One). For Sri Lanka it is a national holiday, and Buddhists all over the country flock to Temples with offerings of flowers to meditate and listen to the Dhamma teachings.
The 14th April is Sinhalese and Tamil New Year.
Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans. The timing of the Sinhala New Year coincides with the new year celebrations of many traditional calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festival has close semblance to the Tamil New year and other South and Southeast Asian New Years. It is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. It is generally celebrated on 13 April or 14 April and traditionally begins at the sighting of the new moon.
According to Sinhalese astrology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya(the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest season and of spring.
In May, the Vesak Poya (Festival of lights) celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.
The Poson Poya Festival celebrates the Full Moon day in the 3rd century B.C when Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka by Arahant Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka. Be sure to visit the historic areas of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, with a special stop at the Mihintale Temple, which is abuzz with activity and devotional programmes during Poson.
Annually either in July or August is the Kandy Perahera Festival and procession that celebrates the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The music, singing and dancing brings everyone together on the full moon ‘Poya’ day.
Nikini Poya is the second Poya in the Vas season and marks the first Dhamma Sangayana (convocation) of Buddhist monks. Sri Lankan Buddhists visit the Temple with offerings of flowers, and make use of the holiday to engage in religious activities.
Be sure to visit Mahiyangana on Binara Full Moon Poya day and witness the marvelous sight that is the annual Mahiyangana Perahera. One of the special features of this Perahera is the Wannila Aththo ‘Veddha People’s’ dance, performed by the island’s indigenous people.
Deepavali or Diwali is an ancient festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-November each year by Hindus. It signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. The festival lasts for a period of five days, of which the main festival night of Diwali falls on the darkest night of the new moon during the Hindu Lunisolar month of Kartik.
Il Full Moon Poya day, the penultimate Poya of the year is a holiday in Sri Lanka. Followers of the Buddhist faith visit the temple with family members and offer flowers. Many observe Sil and engage in meditation on this day. The strains of Dhammapreachings by Buddhist monks can be heard from the Temples from morning till dusk.
You can climb to the summit of Sri Pada with other devotees and experience one of the wonders Sri Lanka has to offer. Make sure to be there at sunrise !