Galle Literary Festival (Mid Jan - End Jan)
A gathering of hundreds of international and local authors, dramatists, poets, historians and architects from around the country assemble in Galle, which is situated in the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka for the ‘Galle International Literary Festival’.

The festival features book reviews, film evenings, literary launches and poetry critiques and a host of other exciting events. The festival brings together a cross-section of some of the best creative talent from the world. Many local and international writers such as Thomas Keneally, Germaine Greer, Pico Iyer, Edna O`Brien, Romesh Gunesekera, V.V. Ganeshananthan, MJ Akbar, Giles Milton, Moses Isegawa, Michael Morpurgo will participate in this years festival.
Adams Peak (Beg Dec - End May)
Adam`s Peak or ‘Sri Pada’ is an important pilgrim site. The devotees of many religions climb the mountain to invoke blessings. Buddhists believe the impression on the summit is the footprint of the Buddha. Sri Pada is the 4th highest mountain in Sri Lanka and it takes 4-5 hours to reach the peak by foot. The mountain is also named as ‘Samanola Kanda’ or Butterfly Mountain. The area is rich in biodiversity and surrounded by the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. The pilgrimage season starts on Unduvap Poya (religious holiday) from December to May.
Nawam Perahera – Colombo (2nd - 3rd Week Feb)
Sri Lankan Buddhists adopt the use of the lunar calendar. The four phases being (pre) new moon day(when the moon is totally invisible), the half moon, the full moon, and the half-moon of the waning fortnight. Owing to the moon’s fullness and size the full-moon day is treated as the most auspicious of the four phases. Hence the most important religious observances are held on full-moon days. The religious observance days are called Poya days
Sinhalese & Tamil New Year (13th Apr - 16th Apr )
New Year in Sri Lanka or the Sinhala New Year – Aluth Avurudhu usually falls on April 13th or 14th every year. According to Sinhalese mythology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It is considered the Festival of the Sun God and marks the end of the harvest and spring. Rains enliven the spirit of the nature as flowers bloom, trees get laden with fruits and bounties of farmers are full.
Horse Races (01st - 30th April )
April brings the spring to Nuwara Eliya. Usually engulfed in mist, this Hill Country town gets en-livened with many activities in April. The British introduced horse racing to Sri Lanka and the 37 acre race course at Nuwara Eliya is still an arena for horses to beat one another. Horse races will frequently be held as one of the traditions remembering the British Colonial Era. Many tournaments are hosted during this period. Motorcycling, car racing, carnivals and many more festivities will be held.
Butterfly Migration (Beg Apr - End May)
In the crisp air and sunshine, legions of brave yellow and white and jewel coloured butterflies take their final flight to the summit of Adams Peak (Sri Pada) as if these lovely evanescent creatures were in the company with the pilgrims. At the end of their ascent, they die there in waves, providing another phenomenon, hence the name Samanala Kanda meaning Butterfly Mountain.
Vesak Festival (Mid May - On Poya Day (Full Moon))
The Vesak Festival is held on the Full Moon Day (Poya Day) during the month of May. This Festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the passing of the Buddha. Elaborate lanterns adorn streets and residences during the Vesak season.
Poson Poya (Mid June - On Poya Day (Full Moon))
The annual Poson festival is an ancient celebration which commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the third century BC. It was spread by the arrival of Arahat Maha Mahinda (son of King Asoka of India) who appeared before the Sri Lankan King at Mihintale. This religious day is celebrated with the lighting of lanterns (similar to vesak) and pandols depicting the journey.
Esala Perahera – Kandy (July - Aug (Dates based on the Full Moon Poya Day - 8/9 Day Festival))
The Kandy Perahera is celebrated annually ever since the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Meghavanna during 300 A.D. (16th – 20th Kumbal Perahera, 21st – 25th Randoli Perahera, 26th Day Perahera).
Elephant Gathering (01st Aug - 30th Sept)
The lure to all these magnificent beasts are the lush grasses revealed by the receding waters of the Minneriya Tank, a reservoir built in the third century. It is an unforgettable sight and a must see – groups of a hundreds of elephants are repeatedly sighted and it is a unique opportunity to see so many elephants close-up in their natural habitat, feeding, fighting, courting, and caring for their young.
Annual Golf Classic (Beg Oct - End Oct)
Hosted at the elegant Victoria Golf & Country Resort in Kandy in October 2007, the Sri Lankan Golf Classic will consist of two Stableford Rounds. Competitors are required to play a round on two consecutive days.
Whale and Dolphin Watching (01st Nov - 30th Apr )
Sri Lanka is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone in the Indian Ocean. Of the 80 species of cetaceans observed and identified worldwide, 26 are found in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Whale and dolphin watching is a seasonal activity in Sri Lanka, available on the west coast in locations from Kalpitiya and along the south west coast from November to March where sightings of over 2000 Dolphins can be witnessed.
National Bird Month (01st Dec - 31st Dec)
Sri Lanka is home to many colorful birds. Over 400 birds including 33 endemics and 200 migrants have been observed on Sri Lankan soil. The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) the national affiliate of Bird Life International declared the month of December as the National Bird Month. December is the peak of the Bird Migration season and will record the highest number of birds. Many activities are being organized to educate the public on the subject of birds . Participants can simply go out bird-watching to as many places as possible. Make a list of species seen and mail it to FOGSL. This data can be fed online and will be later analyzed and used for conservation purposes.