Category Archives: Events

Massive Festival in Negombo coming soon

2016-07-30 18.15.34It starts on the Sunday 29th July 2018 and will continue until the 6th August.

St.Anne’s church in Palagathura in Negombo is one of the biggest churches in the area. This one is set close to the Dutch Canal on St. Anns Road.

This is an annual event starting the last Sunday in July.

This is a church festival celebrated all over Negombo, where the streets are decorated and lit up at night. The church grounds host a carnival organised by the church youth group and the local community.

The streets are lined with market stalls selling food, sweets, toys, gifts and there is even a 6D mobile cinema, I dont know how you experience 6D!

Families come from miles and mile around to experience the spectacle and to be blessed. On the first Sunday there is a parade through the streets with lots of music and smiling faces.

This is the biggest festival of its kind in Negombo. Take a look at some of last years photos!

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Red streets of Sri Lanka

Rambutan2It’s that time of year again  in Sri Lanka where the streets are turned red with many stalls at the side of the road selling the rambutan fruit. In some places it can be such a spectacle!! but what exactly is it?

The Rambutan Fruit

The Rambutan tree grows to about 10 to 20 metres in height. Its alternate leaves are 10 to 30 cm in length and pinnate and have three to eleven leaflets, each with an entire margin about 5 to 15 cm in width and 3 to 10 cm in breadth. Petal-less small flowers which are about 2 1/2 to 5 mm in size are disk-shape and they bloom cluster wise. The shape of the Rambutan fruit is round or oval and it is about three to six cm by three to four cm in dimension.
Rambutan Rambutan_fruit_Sri_Lanka

Rambutan is borne in clusters, and about 10 to 20 Rambutan fruit can be present in a typical cluster. Its leather like skin has pliable thorns. Rambutan fruit is typically red though some are yellow or orange. ‘Rambut’ is a Malay word that means ‘hairs’, hence it gets its name because of the thorn like appearance of its fruits. Its brownish seed is about two to three cm in size and is basally scarred. It is soft and crunchy. Although the raw seeds are poisonous, they may be eaten after cooking.

Open Rambutan fruit by removing one part of its skin. Find the seam across the fruit and pull apart the leathery skin. You can also use the knife, but be careful, only cut through the skin. Then you can hold the fruit with your fingers and enjoy the sweet taste. Rambutan fruit cannot be cooked; it can be eaten raw only.



Sri Lanka Vesak Day

gangaramaya temple

This year, the Vesak celebration occurs on Sunday 29th April 2018.

It is regarded as one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gauthama Buddha.

Whilst this is celebrated in all towns around Sri Lanka, Colombo is holding a special Budhdha Rashmi National Vesak Festival 2018 from 29th April to 7th May 2018.

It will take place around the famous Gangarama temple, the temple trees and the area around Bere Lake.

3527193512_bdcc99acfeVesak lanterns called Vesak koodu are lit in most of the homes in Sri Lanka on Vesak poya day. The lighting signifies an offering to the memory of the Buddha who delivered the message of Dhamma. In ancient times, people used their clay oil lamps for illumination. When candles became popular, colourful lanterns were made in different shapes and colours were used. Many associations arrange competitions on Vesak lanterns with the creators of the most beautiful lanterns being awarded valuable prizes.

Christmas in Sri Lanka

Christmas in Sri Lanka

Preparation for this great day begins weeks before, as in any other country. The festive sound or annoying sound of fireworks waking you up at dawn every morning of December is the first intimation that Christmas is round the corner.

Despite the fact that nearly 70% of population are practicing Buddhism while another 15% of people are Hindus, only a 7% of Sri Lanka’s population are Christians It is celebrated by Christians and shared by non-Christians in true Sri Lankan style.

It is said that the very first celebration of this festival was perhaps introduced to Sri Lanka (early known as Ceylon) by the Portuguese who ruled Lanka From 1505~1650.then the Dutch who ruled from 1658~1796 followed by British who ruled from 1815~1948.

The festivity spreads through all shopping centres all over the island. Even the small wayside boutiques in the heart of the country come out with their small festive décor. Homes are cleaned and painted, new clothes are bought or stitched and decorations are hung.

Hotels and commercial establishments are given a facelift around mid-November with seasonal decorations, and an interesting fact is the emerging trend of utilizing natural materials such as twigs, jute, leaves, etc, to create a natural but visually stunning Christmas ambiance.

The 25th of December is a public holiday and the midnight of 24th of December Cathedrals, Churches and little Chapels all over the island Christians attend “Midnight Mass”.

Christmas day finds people visiting relatives ,friends and neighbors to share with them the seasonal cake followed by a lavish spread of lunch or dinner.

Since Christmas is followed closely by the New Year sales. ‘Sale’ signs can be seen in almost all shops, with attractive price reductions being offered.

Spend Christmas in Sri Lanka

Should you opt for a tropical Christmas in Sri Lanka, you can be sure that it will be a most memorable one with all the trimmings of the festive season. Take your pick out of all the scenic locations Sri Lanka has to offer, and celebrate Christmas there. All Hotels indulge their guests with a fantastic Christmas spread, carols, dancing and other seasonal activities. It will be just like home but with a number of new experiences thrown in.

Contact us with your requirements and we will include them all and much more in your Sri Lanka tour package. In addition the New Year’s Eve dances in Sri Lanka are something special, so be prepared to party your way into the New Year in style!

Shortage of Elephants For Perahera in Kandy

Elephants on Show in PeraheraElephants are often in the news these days. Afterall “Sri Lanka” and “elephants” go hand in hand. Indeed Sri Lanka has the highest density of population of elephants in Asia.

Fortunately the National Parks offer some protection, and the elephants can be seen in the National Parks of Yala, Lunugamvehera, Wilpattu, Minneriya (near Sigiriya), and Udawalawe. However some elephants can be found outisde these protected areas, which are mainly in the dry zones of the north, east and south east. These are all wild elephants in their natural habitat.

One sure way of seeing elephants is to attend the Perahera in Kandy. This is a festival where elephants are adorned and paraded down the streets along with brightly dressed musicians and dancers. The elephants used here are domesticated elephants.

The shortage of domesticated elephants is now of great concern, as the number of elephants available for this procession has been severely reduced. The government is proposing to confiscate any domesticated elephants through a court order in order to solve the shortage of domesticated elephants available for religious purposes. Of the 132 domesticated elephants available, 52 cannot take part.

The number of elephants available is also hindered by permit issues where 20 are currently under a court order.

This year the Perahera in Kandy takes place from 8th to 18th August. Probably with a reduced number of elephants compared to previous years.

HOLIDAY RENTALS IN KANDY AREA

Significance of Poson Poya Day

poson poyaSunday 19th June 2016

The full-moon Poson Poya Day is noteworthy to the Sri Lankan Buddhists as the day on which Emperor Asoka’s son, the Arahat Mahinda, officially introduced Buddhism to the island of Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C.

On Poson Poya, Anuradhapura becomes the centre of Buddhist activity. Mihintale, the spot where the momentous encounter between the Elder and the King took place, accordingly receives the reverential attention of the devotees.

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or 15 other properties in Anuradhapura from as low as $15 per night, click HERE

This is how it all happened:

King Devanampiyatissa was hunting deer on that Poson Poya day many centuries ago, when Arahant Mahinda appeared to him on top of a mountain now known as Mihintale (meaning plateau of Mahinda) and called him by his first name. The King stopped his pursuit of the deer and answered a riddle about a mango tree which the Arahant asked him. He thereafter listened to the teachings of Arahant Mahinda and agreed to follow the teachings of the Buddha. He thereafter declared it the state religion and today Sri Lanka is considered the home of Theravada Buddhism.Poson-Festival-celebration

Poson Poya is celebrated by Buddhists in Sri Lanka by visiting the Temple with offerings of flowers and incense to pay homage to Lord Buddha.

Poson celebrations are similar to Vesak, with Dansals (Stalls giving out free food, drink or icecream) to be seen everywhere. Buddhist families decorate their homes with coloured lights and lanterns

As with all other Poya days this is a dry day so no alcohol or meat are allowed to be purchased.



Anyone for Scrabble in Sri Lanka?

SriLanka-International-Scrabble-TournamentIf you want to play scrabble in Sri Lanka take care who your opponents may be.

The world record for highest score over a 24 hour period goes to a Sri Lankan pair of scrabblers called Lakshan Wanniarachchi and Yeshan Jayasuriya.

The couple managed to get a cool 196,525 points in a 24 hour game on 10th/11th November 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

And it is not just the adults who are playing.

scrabbleIn the World Youth Scrabble Championships in 2015, Sri Lanka walked away with six awards, one of which was the best team award and the under 14 title.

The Sri Lankan National Scrabble 2016 Championships takes place on 13th August 2016, venue still to be decided.