Every year, thousands of pilgrims make the lofty journey to the summit of Adam’s Peak, or Samanalakande (Butterfly Mountain). Starting from Poya Day (in December) and running all the through to Vesak Festival in May the following year, worshippers don their walking boots for the grueling 7,000-foot climb to the peak’s Buddhist temple.
Duruthu Perahera is an important day for Sri Lankan Buddhism, as it is said that this was when the Buddha made a visit to the island country. Head to Colombo for the best taste of celebrations, where you’ll find locals performing rituals at Buddhist temples alongside lively parades in the streets creating a carnival atmosphere.
This four-day Tamil harvest festival, known as ‘Thai Pongal’ or simply ‘Pongal’ is held annually in order to give thanks to the Sun and appreciate it as an invaluable source of energy. Tamils across both India and Sri Lanka decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves, and use flour to draw beautiful patterns on the floor.