Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, an island nation nestled in the Indian Ocean, is a land of diverse cultures, religions, and traditions. Its public holidays are a vibrant reflection of this rich tapestry, offering a glimpse into the nation's history, spirituality, and festive spirit. Explore some of the most enchanting public holidays in Sri Lanka.

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

The Sinhala and Tamil New Year, celebrated in April, marks the dawn of a new year for both the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Homes are cleaned, new clothes are worn, and traditional games are played amidst a backdrop of sweetmeats and festive treats.

Vesak (Buddha Purnima)

Vesak is a sacred Buddhist holiday that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. It's a time of illuminated streets, lantern processions, and acts of generosity.

Independence Day

Independence Day on February 4th marks the anniversary of Sri Lanka gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1948. The day is celebrated with flag-raising ceremonies, parades, and cultural performances.


Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by the Tamil community. Homes are adorned with oil lamps, and delicious sweets are exchanged.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by the Muslim community at the end of Ramadan. It's a time of communal prayers, feasting, and sharing with the less fortunate.

6. Christmas

Christmas is celebrated by Christians in Sri Lanka with midnight masses, nativity scenes, and festive decorations.

Poya Days

Sri Lanka observes monthly Poya Days, which are dedicated to Buddhist religious observances. These days are marked by temple visits, meditation, and acts of charity.

Thai Pongal

Thai Pongal, celebrated by the Tamil community, is a harvest festival. It involves the preparation of a special dish called "Pongal" and paying tribute to the Sun God.

National Heroes' Day

National Heroes' Day honors those who made significant contributions to the nation's independence struggle. It's a day of remembrance and reflection.

Aluth Avurudu (New Year)

Apart from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Sri Lanka also celebrates the Gregorian New Year on January 1st with fireworks, parties, and festive gatherings.

These public holidays in Sri Lanka offer a window into the country's cultural diversity and spiritual heritage. They allow both residents and visitors to experience the warmth, hospitality, and vibrant celebrations that define this tropical paradise. Whether you're joining a Vesak lantern procession or savoring milk rice during Thai Pongal, Sri Lanka's public holidays promise an unforgettable immersion into its rich cultural mosaic.

Upcoming Holidays (next six months)

Christmas Day December 25 Monday Public Holiday
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day December 26 Tuesday Public Holiday
Tamil Thai Pongal Day January 15 Monday Public Holiday
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day January 25 Thursday Public Holiday
National Day February 04 Sunday Public Holiday
Navam Full Moon Poya Day February 23 Friday Public Holiday
Mahasivarathri Day March 08 Friday Public Holiday
Medin Full Moon Poya Day March 24 Sunday Public Holiday
Good Friday March 29 Friday Public Holiday
Eid al-Fitr April 11 Thursday Public Holiday
Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day Eve April 12 Friday Public Holiday
Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day April 13 Saturday Public Holiday
Bak Full Moon Poya Day April 23 Tuesday Public Holiday
May day May 01 Wednesday Public Holiday
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day May 23 Thursday Public Holiday
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day Holiday May 24 Friday Public Holiday

Holidays by year

2023 2024