An incredible spectacle happens every year during the end of August/start of September when around 300 elephant all converge on the banks of the Minneriya Lake, in the north of Sri Lanka. The phenomenon, known as ‘the Gathering’ is one of the highest concentrations of these Asian Elephants to be found anywhere in the world.
One of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular and colorful festivals is Esala Perahera, a ten-day event in the central city of Kandy. Held to commemorate an ancient Buddhist tooth relic, this festival features processions through the streets, dancing, and music. It all ends with a peculiar ‘water cutting’ session (with swords) in the river.
Vel Festival sees the ceremonial chariot of the God of War, Skanda, pulled between two of Colombo’s major Hindu temples. Over two to three days, body painting and colorful outfits can be seen alongside painful displays of religious devotion, where participants dangle themselves by piercing their skin on their backs with metal hooks.
From May to December, the turquoise ocean water and tranquil lagoon of Kalpitiya plays host to local and international kitesurfing enthusiasts. Many visit this northwestern town for its various events and competitions held between June and August. Beginners are also welcome and there’s several training centers scattered around.