After New Year, Sri Lanka celebrates three public holidays in in January 2015, of all three major religions of the nation represented in the national flag, namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam:
Milad Un-Nabi, Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, is celebrated on a Saturday.
Durutha Poya Day, January’s Buddhist Full Moon Day, is celebrated on a Sunday.
Thai Pongal, a Tamil Thanksgiving Day, is celebrated on a Thursday.
Duruthu Poya celebrations of the arrival of the Buddha in Sri Lanka:
Duruthu Poya Day commemorates the first visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka, which took place in Mahiyangana.
This offers a chance for tourists to see one of Sri Lanka's spectacular Peraheras:
The Kelaniya temple near Colombo, which is the setting of the third visit of the Buddha, will organize colourful Peraheras on three consecutive days this week, culminating on the Duruthu Full Moon Poya day. Like in Kandy, the major procession are called “Randoli Peraheras”.
There are 2 major public events in January this year, namely the presidential elections and a visit of the Roman Catholic Pope.
The presidential elections will be held on the Thursday, the 8th of January. A curfew is probable in the evening hours. There is a risk of violence or curfews to prevent them in the following days, too.
Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka from the 12th to the 15th of January, before proceeding to the Philippines.
In the evening of Tuesday, 13th of January, the pope will join an interreligious meeting in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.
On Wednesday morning Pope Francis will canonize the Blessed Joseph Vaz at Colombo’s promenade Galle Face Green. In the afternoon he will pray at Sri Lanka’s most significant Roman Catholic pilgrimage church, Our Lady of Rosary of Madhu.
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