Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

For anyone who visits Sri Lanka for whatever purpose it is important to note the holidays in the country as functions come to virtually quiet or even still on certain days which are declared so by the state. This will help avoid disappointments when schedules are arranged accordingly but not to the understanding of a less informed visitor. Business appointments and other important agendas have to be in line with available days for action.

Firstly, since Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, the full moon days in each moth is declared Public, Bank and Mercantile holiday. However, hotels, hospital and other essential activities do function on these ‘Poya’ days. In the calendar they are marked in either Yellow or Red. No liquor is served nor meat slaughtered anywhere on these supposedly sacred days. One could see the Temples being visited by thousands of devotees mostly clad in white.

Other important annual Buddhist holidays are the Wesak (May) and the New Year (April). These days are also sans any business activity. However, Star Hotels do function with added related festivity and feast.

As for other religions the respective celebrations are observed and enjoyed but they do not affect the activity of the entire Island, depending on the concentrations of population of these sects. Yet, the Government respects the important days of these religious groups permitting one of those days to be public, bank and mercantile holidays such as the Christmas (Christmas), Ramazan (Muslim) and the Pongs (Hindu) while other religious days are only public and bank holidays but not mercantile.

Apart from these there is National holiday commemorating Independence annually.   However, international observance days like the mothers’ day, children’s’ day etc., are only observed but not declared holidays.