woman hands with henna holding lit candle isolated on black background with clipping path

3 trips to experience the best of Sri Lanka’s festival culture

Sri Lanka boasts a wonderfully rich mix of religions and cultures. Together they make for an eventful festival calendar.

We’ve looked at three of the most important and given some ideas on trips that combine well to experience them.


Vesak Poya

Vesak Poya is the most important ‘full moon’ day of the year for Buddhists who celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away (Pariniwana). The island is lit up by flickering oil lamps, intricate Vesak paper lanterns and colourful illuminated pictures hanging in the streets.

20873800 - lanterns

Stay at the Kandy House and The Sun House in Galle to see the best of the celebration.

  • The Wallawwa – 1 night
  • The Kandy House – 3 nights
  • The Sun House – 4 nights

From USD 3,250 for two people (including transfers with one domestic flight)


Kataragama Festival

In honour of the god Skanda, The Kataragama Perehera is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most visually striking. Devotees from different faiths take part in a festival procession traveling through the town.

Devotees perform dance, music, fire-walking and acrobatics. The sometimes-shocking ritual of hanging from pierced skin can also be seen.

51901028 - a ceremonial elephant is led through the parade at the kataragama festival in sri lanka.

The festival usually takes place in July or August and runs for two weeks. You can easily combine a visit with time on safari at Leopard Trails – the main camp a short drive from Kataragama.

  • The Wallawwa – 1 night
  • Ashburnham Estate – 3 nights
  • Villa Nalanda – 2 nights
  • Leopard Trails – 2 nights
  • Why House – 4 nights

From USD 4,690 for two people (including transfers and all safaris)



Deepavali, or Diwali, is the Hindu festival of light, celebrated in recognition of the victory of good over evil.

18978602 - people from india light up traditional earthen lamps on the occassion of diwali festival celebrations

It is a Hindu festival so observed by the island’s Tamil population. Experience the celebration during a hill-country stay at Ashburnham Estate.

  • The Wallawwa – 1 night
  • Ashburnham Estate – 3 nights
  • Gal Oya Lodge – 3 nights
  • Maya Villa – 2 nights
  • Why House – 4 nights

From USD 4,280 (including all transfers)

For more information please contact [email protected]