Table of Contents
- When is the best time to go to Sri Lanka?
- The weather in Sri Lanka
- The average temperature in Sri Lanka
- Which month is best for visiting Sri Lanka?
- How to Plan a Spring Vacation in Sri Lanka
- When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka during the summer?
- Temperature and rainfall averages
- Official holidays and festivals in Sri Lanka
- Celebrations in Sri Lanka
When is the best time to go to Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka’s weather is highly intricate for such a tiny country because it is influenced by two separate monsoons. This suggests that the island has favourable weather for most of the year. When you decide the best time to go to Sri Lanka deciding when to travel, keep in mind that Sri Lanka’s general weather pattern—which is shown below—can shift significantly from year to year. Furthermore, it is a fact that global warming has disrupted these already complex weather patterns.
The weather in Sri Lanka
When does the monsoon season in Sri Lanka begin?
It goes without saying that the pattern of rainfall will be one of the most important factors to consider when determining when to visit Sri Lanka. The primary southwest monsoon, also known as the “Yala” monsoon, is the wettest from April to June, bringing rain to the hill country, west and southwest coasts, and mid-to-late May.
The milder northeast (“Maha”) monsoon, which peaks in November and December, affects the east coast. It will last until March.
There is also an inter-monsoonal season of variable weather in October and November that precedes the Maha monsoon. During this period, thunderstorms and heavy rain are possible everywhere on the island.
The average temperature in Sri Lanka
Because Sri Lanka lies close to the equator, the country’s temperature is relatively constant throughout the year. Daily highs in the lowlands and coastal regions range from 26 to 30°C on average. During the hottest part of the day, they frequently reach temperatures well into the 30°C range. Temperatures decline as height climbs, reaching a comfortable 18-22°C in Kandy. The average temperature in Nuwara Eliya and the island’s highest sections is 14-17°C. The nights in the highlands can be exceedingly cold, almost to the point of freezing at times. Humidity is frequently excessive everywhere. It ranges from 60 to 80% across the majority of the island, but can occasionally reach a blistering 90% in the southwest.
Which month is best for visiting Sri Lanka?
To summarise, the best time to visit Sri Lanka varies on where you want to go on the island owing to weather patterns:
If you want to visit the west, south, or hill country, you should go between December and March.
If you want to explore the east and north of the country, the best months to visit are April or May through September.
Going to Sri Lanka in the Winter From December through February, you can visit Sri Lanka.
The eastern coast and northern sections of Sri Lanka are relatively moist at this time of year. As a result, it’s not the best time to visit historic Batticaloa, coastal Trincomalee, Jaffna, or surf at Arugam Bay. Instead, head to Weligama on the south coast to catch some waves, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches of Unawatuna Bay and Mirissa. Around this time of year, whale watching off southern Sri Lanka is also spectacular. Explore the picturesque colonial fort town of Galle, which comes alive during the Galle Literary Festival in late January or early February. It’s also a good time to visit Kandy and explore the hill country, which includes Adam’s Peak Climb and Horton Plains National Park. Book early because Christmas is a popular time of year.
March is still gorgeous in the south and southwest, but by April, the monsoon has begun to take its toll. Still, it’s a terrific time to watch whales off the south coast. Explore Sri Lanka’s less-traveled northern regions, such as the Cultural Triangle, the eastern coast, and the vibrant city of Jaffna.
The south becomes rather humid in May; if you want a milder climate, head to the hills. The main Buddhist festival in May is
Vesak Poya commemorates the Buddha’s conception, realisation, and death.
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka during the summer?
From June to August, I will be in Sri Lanka.
The hill country is nice and cooler, but you never know when it will rain. This is an excellent time of year to learn about the Tamil culture of Jaffna and the neighbouring islands, as well as to get out and enjoy the Jaffna Peninsula. The beautiful beaches on Sri Lanka’s east coast are equally appealing. The Esala Poya Perahera in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s most stunning celebration, takes place in July or August. Don’t pass it up.
When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka in the autumn? From September to November
The weather remains good in the island’s eastern and northern parts throughout September. Between October and November, the weather on the island is quite variable, with showers possible wherever you go. This is due to the fact that the month occurs between the main monsoons.
Temperature and rainfall averages
We’ve made the graph that shows the average rainfall and temperature. This should give you a broad idea of the type of weather to expect in Sri Lanka during any given month. We analysed three various regions throughout the country to offer you with a full insight and assist you in deciding the best time to visit Sri Lanka. We’ve visited Colombo on the Sri Lanka’s western coast, Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands known as tea country, and Trincomalee on the island’s northeastern shore.
Official holidays and festivals in Sri Lanka
The calendar is jam-packed with festivals and public holidays for four major religions, each with its own set of festivals. Because these festivals tend to bring everything to a halt, you may want to include one or more of them in your schedule or make sure your travel dates match with them. The lunar calendar, which adds one month every two or three years in Buddhism to preserve synchronisation between the solar and lunar calendars, is used for the vast majority of festivals. As a result, the dates of most events vary significantly from year to year. Muslim holidays follow the lunar calendar as well, but because there are no corrective months, the dates of these holidays advance steadily.
On the island, the most important Buddhist holidays are traditionally marked by large parades called peraheras, which involve dozens of magnificently painted elephants led by drummers and dancers. Because of the enormous volume of passengers on poya days, transportation and housing are generally packed; alcohol sales are theoretically restricted, but most guesthouses and tourist hotels will nevertheless serve you.
The main Hindu holidays in Sri Lanka are as colourful as the Buddhist celebrations on the island; in addition to the ones listed below, there are many more local temple festivals, particularly in the north. In Sri Lanka, Muslim holidays are often more muted festivities that involve primarily the Muslim community and include special prayers held at the mosque. The three main festivals are Id ul-Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, Milad un-Nabi, which commemorates the Prophet’s birthday, and Id ul-Allah, which marks the beginning of pilgrimages to Mecca. All three occasions are national holidays.
Celebrations in Sri Lanka
On January 14th, Duruthu Poya, the first of the Buddha’s three legendary journeys to Sri Lanka is honoured with a lavish parade staged at the Raja Maha Vihara in the Kelaniya region of Colombo. In addition, the Duruthu poya marks the start of the three-month pilgrimage season to Adam’s Peak.
Thai Pongol is a Hindu festival that praises the sun deity Surya, the cow, and the rain-bearer Indra in no particular order. As part of Hindu temple ceremonies, the first grains of the fresh paddy harvest are ceremoniously boiled in milk in a particular pot; the direction in which the boiling liquid falls is thought to augur good or ill luck for the next year. 14 and 15 January
Galle Literary Festival Renowned writers and cultural vultures from both the domestic and international arenas flock to Galle. End of January/beginning of February
February Navam Poya is a large ceremony celebrated at the Gangaramaya temple in Colombo to commemorate the Buddha’s proclamation, at the age of eighty, that he was going to die. Despite the fact that it has only been in existence since 1979, this festival has grown to be one of the largest on the island, with a procession of approximately fifty elephants.
Independence Day celebrates Sri Lanka’s independence on February 4, 1948, with parades, dancing, and activities.
Maha Sivarathri is a Hindu holiday that honours Shiva by observing an all-night vigil and a one-day fast. Feb./March
On March Medina Poya, the Buddha’s first visit to his father’s palace after attaining enlightenment is honoured.
Have a wonderful Friday! There is an Easter Passion drama on the island of Duwa, close to Negombo. (April/March)
Jaffna/Galle Music Festival is a three-day music festival that alternates between Galle and Jaffna every year and has an incredible array of regional and foreign folk musicians, dancers, and other performers.
On April Bak Poya, the Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka is commemorated.
New Year’s in Tamil and Sinhala The Buddhist and Hindu New Year is a family holiday that occurs around the start of the southwest monsoon and the conclusion of harvest season. During this period, gifts are exchanged, and traditional kiribath (rice cooked with milk and sliced into diamond shapes) is prepared. Horoscopes are read, companies close, rituals are performed, and new clothing are put on. April 14 is New Year’s Day, while April 13 is New Year’s Eve.
Vesak, his three-day festival commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death, all of which are traditionally thought to have occurred on the day of the Vesak Poya, making it the most important of the Buddhist poyas. Furthermore, it is claimed that the last of the Buddha’s three supposed visits to Sri Lanka took place on a Vesak poya day. Lamps are lit in front of homes, and pandals—platforms ornamented with scenes from the Buddha’s life—are being created across the country. Buses and cars are decorated with streamers, while roadside kiosks (dansal) give free meals ranging from rice and curries to Vesak sweetmeats. Meanwhile, devout Buddhists fast, meditate, and visit temples. Furthermore, the day after Vesak Poya is a public holiday. Vesak also marks the conclusion of the pilgrimage season to Adam’s Peak. It is banned for public eateries to sell wine, pork, or fish for the six days preceding Poya Day. Hotels and guesthouses, on the other hand, may be able to get around this prohibition while serving their own clientele.
June Poson Poya Poson Poya, which ranks second only to Vesak in importance, commemorates Mahinda’s introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka and is marked by large-scale pilgrimages to Anuradhapura and the ascent of Mihintale by thousands of white-robed pilgrims.
Esala Poya is celebrated in July to commemorate the Buddha’s first sermon and the arrival of the Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka. Festivals occur during the lunar month of Esala, particularly the spectacular Esala Perahera in Kandy, which is Sri Lanka’s most opulent event. Additional celebrations take occur at Bellanwila, a southern Colombo suburb, Dondra, and Kataragama. Unawatuna hosts a big seven-day event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the hamlet and beach.
In Kataragama, Hindu devotees engage in a range of ritual self-mutilation practises, including firewalking, piercing their flesh with hooks and weights, and inserting skewers through their lips and cheeks.
Hikkaduwa Beach Festival: A three-day beach party hosted by international DJs. July/August
The most important Hindu festival in Colombo is Vel, which honours Skanda/Kataragama and includes two spectacular processions that bring the god’s chariot and vel (spear) from the Pettah to the temples at Wellawatta and Bambalapitiya. July/August
The 31st of August
Nikini Poya, commemorated by monastic groups as a time of fasting and retreat, commemorates the Bhikkhus’ retreat following the Buddha’s death.
Binara Poya commemorates the Buddha’s ascension to heaven to deliver a speech to his mother and other deities.
Puja of Durga This Hindu celebration, also known as Durga Puja, honours Durga and commemorates the day Rama conquered Ravana. Oct./Sept.
On October Vap Poya, the Buddha’s homecoming to earth and the end of the Buddhist fast are remembered.
Longavali The Hindu Festival of Lights, which is similar to Diwali in North India, commemorates Rama’s (the protagonist of the epic Ramayana) homecoming from exile. Lamp lights and new apparel are used in Tamil houses to commemorate the triumph of good over evil. (End of October/beginning of August)
International Spice Culinary Festival Ten days of cuisine events in various Colombo venues. (End of October/beginning of August)
The Buddha’s ordination of sixty disciples is remembered on November Ill Poya.
Unduvap Poya is celebrated in December to commemorate Ashoka’s daughter Sangamitta’s arrival of the Bo tree sapling at Anuradhapura.
(December 25th) Holiday
The 31st of December is Christian New Year’s Eve.