In February 2015, three official public holidays will be celebrated in Sri Lanka:
February 03, Tuesday: Navam Full Moon Poya Day (Buddhist)
February 04, Wednesday: Independence Day (National Day)
February 17, Tuesday: Mahasivarathri Day (Hindu)
Navam Poya, also spelt Nawam Poya, commemorates two significant incidents, the first ever Buddhist congregation and the appointment of two chief disciples (Aggasavakas) of the Buddha, namely Sariputta and Moggallana. Navam Poya is celebrated in Colombo on a huge scale:
Navam Perahera Festival in Colombo is a famous pageant attracting locals and tourists alike. The Navam Perahera is held annually on the full moon day in February. Both parades in two succesive nights of these Navam Poya celebrations display the rich and colourful religious and cultural tradition of Sri Lanka with hundreds of monks, numerous drummers and altogether more than 1000 performers and dozens of elephants can be seen parading in the streets of Colombo City.
The festival is organized by the famous Gangaramaya Temple near the Beira Lake. The first Navam Perahera in Colombo took place in 1979.
Great Britain granted independence to its former colony of Ceylon in 1948, on the 4th of February. Sri Lanka’s independence day is celebrated with parades all over the country, the main ceremonies usually take place at Independence Square in the Cinnamon Gardens neighbourhood of Colombo. The celebrations begin with the hoisting of the national flag and singing the national anthem, followed by a traditional ceremony called lighting of the lamp. A great military parade is also made.
The 15th Annual Donald Steel Golf tournament will be held at the Victoria Golf & Country Resort in Kandy. The tournament is expected to attract over 100 golfers from about 15 countries including the UK, Canada and New Zealand. It is organised in honour of Donald Steel, the architect of the Victoria golf course.
Maha Shivratri, “the Great Night of Shiva”, is a Hindu festival celebrated by Tamils in Sri Lanka. The religious festival commemorates the day Shiva was married to Parvati.
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