Christmas

Christmas in Sri Lanka.

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023.

It’s here, it happened.
What was it like having Christmas on a tropical island?

What a time we had during Christmas in Sri Lanka in 2023

Well, “Last Christmas” by Wham finally made it to Number One in the UK charts, seven years after George Michaels’ death.

We had some German guests stay with us on the  24th December (the time they celebrate Christmas). 
I found that Mariah Carey was number one in the charts in Germany with “All I want for Christmas is you”.

This was the same in Austria. (We also had some Austrian guests stay with us on the 24th).

We had a full house – we only had three bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate and could have had filled twenty with the number of calls we received. 

The house was decorated with a tree, lights and lots of handmade ornaments and did look festive in the heat. Our staff had worked hard making the decorations before the run up the the festive season.

What's for dinner?

We believe in sourcing as much produce as we can get locally from our garden and good suppliers nearby.

This means that there is no goose, turkey, duck, beef or ham for Christmas. 
It we served these items the it would not be very good for the planet with the air miles the products would have travelled to get here. Also, they would have been very expensive and did not want to burden our guests with that much expense.

Traditional Roast dinner....and then some!

Ruwanthi makes a delicious roast chicken dinner for our guests and gets lots of great feedback on the meal. Here is one of our guests having a roast chicken dinner at GlenMyu Estate for his birthday celebration.

Our festive dinner would be a variation of our roast chicken dinner.

Also on the special menu was:

Roasted pumpkin and carrot soup
A whole roast chicken, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables and gravy.
Sticky toffee pudding with homemade cream with a festive filling.

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023 - how did it go?

It all started with drinks and chats outside in the cool weather.
At least it felt a little bit like Christmas but not as chilly as our guests’ home countries.

The dishes went down well and our Austrian guests particularly liked the dessert which really had the Christmas flavours. 

At Christmas, most people tend to eat a larger meal and what was served at GlenMyu Estate was more that sufficient. The feedback from our guests tropical Christmas dinner was great.

The good thing about GlenMyu Estate is that you have a chance to work off those calories at the swimming pool the next morning. Our German guests were committed and did their fifty plus lengths of the pool in the morning. Well done to them!

Whats about the 25th December 2023?

Being from the UK we typically celebrate Christmas with a meal on the 25th December. 

I must admit I was a little worried about having two Christmas dinners. My waistline is already big enough for my wife to complain about. I decided that I would miss the meal on the 24th, just sampling some Yorkshire Pudding with gravy and a few east potatoes. These items are my favourites and hard to resist.

I didn’t know whether we would be replicating what we served on the 24th December as our Austrian guests had requested a Sri Lankan meal for the 25th.

Arriving later in the day was a Finnish couple and a Russian couple and therefore a Roast Chicken dinner probably would not be required.

So did I get my festive dinner.
No, not this year, but my waist of happier for it!

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023 - What about 2024?

Of course December 2024 is a long way off , but it’s a good time to consider what we will do next year.

As already mentioned we don’t serve goose, turkey etc, we will be looking to do something different for the festive season in 2024.

A great deal of our menu is plant based and I have been researching plant based festive options.

I have found lots of recipes and videos and hopefully we will be able to practice some of them and see if we can offer a different type of festive menu. You can read my article “A plant based  festive season” to see what we are considering.

We will of course, serve roasted chicken if that what our guests require. 

Stay at GlenMyu Estate during the festive season in the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Christmas in Sri Lanka 2023 Read More »

A elf welcome at Christmas

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka.

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka.

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka.

This year we have guests from Germany and Scandinavia staying at GlenMyu for Christmas.

Here is what we are planning to do for our guests.

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka - Decorating the house.

As we have an artificial Christmas Tree, we make some of our decorations from natural materials sourced from the estate.

All our workers, whatever their faith, participate in making the decorations. This provides a sense of community and a break from their day to day roles.

Ru's Mother makes some decorations.

Apart from being an excellent Sri Lankan cook, Ru’s mother is also a seamstress. 

She has made some decorations for the house which are quite cute. 

Sri Lanka is a multi faith country. Although Ru’s mum is Buddhist, like many other local people, she is happy to contribute to the festivities.

It would be normal in Sri Lanka for Buddhists and Hindus to visit each others temples in times of celebration. Many Sri Lankan Buddhists do a pilgrimage to Kataragama Hindu Temple.
 
There are often Hindu Kovils attached to Buddhist Temples as well.

A homemade Santa

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka - Decide on a menu.

Ru has been thinking about what she will serve to the guests.

As one of the parties are arriving several days before the big event, she will canvass the guests before making a final decision.

We normally serve only Chicken or Fish dishes at GlenMyu Estate. This is because we are limited on what good produce we can source locally.
A goose, turkey, ham or beef would be an exorbitant price as it is mainly imported.

We don’t see the benefit of serving ingredients that guests can buy better quality at home. They can ensure it is organic and costs a reasonable price. This is also the reason why we recommend that guests bring some wine with them. Sri Lanka doesn’t produce wine and therefore it is an expensive import.

At GlenMyu Estate we are getting a reputation for our Roast Chicken Dinner.
This is especially enjoyed by British Expats who reside in Sri Lanka.

I guess what we will serve will be a variation of this dish with some additional festive trimmings.

We were able to source Christmas Crackers and we can play some Christmas Tunes so there will be some feeling of the festive season in the tropics.

A Traditional British Sunday Roast

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka - The 24th or 25th December?

One of our German neighbours advised that Christmas is celebrated on the 24th December by both Germans and Scandinavians.

We had only experienced a Christmas in the UK where it is celebrated on the 25th December. 

As we have guests on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it looks like we will be celebrating twice. 

I must admit I won’t mind – two Christmas Dinners in two days for me! 
It looks like I will be swimming twice a day in the swimming pool at GlenMyu Estate to burn off those extra calories!

A plant based Christmas?

Our food menu at GlenMyu Estate is mainly Plant Based as we can source good ingredients to make these dishes locally.

As mentioned we do serve some fish and chicken dishes too.

Ru has been researching Plant Based Festive Dishes. We would hope to be in a position to offer this to guests for Christmas 2024. 

I’m looking forward to being the test dummy for the dishes (looks like more lengths in the swimming pool for me).

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka - an update will follow.

When the event has conclude, I will provide a pictorial update on what we did for our European Christmas in Sri Lanka.

I will also let you know what Ru served to our guests for their Christmas Dinner.

In the meantime, we at GlenMyu Estate, wish you the compliments of the season.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and enjoy the Festive Season.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

A European Christmas in Sri Lanka. Read More »

An elephant at Christmas

A Plant Based Festive Season

A plant based festive season.

The festive season is coming. I thought I would compile a few ideas for a plant based festive season and menu for Christmas.

I have scoured the internet to find recipes and videos that may be of interest.

We are not plant based at GlenMyu Estate.....but...

At GlenMyu Estate we offer chicken and fish options alongside or plant based options. 

You can see our food menu by clicking this link.

At the estate,we intend to increase our plant based offering over time as we get a reputation for this style of cuisine. In order to satisfy our guests we still offer non-plant based option. Our philosophy is that all are welcome whatever our guests’ food preferences.

We will try to provide the best meals we can from the ingredients we can source locally.

Hopefully, as we develop our menu, GlenMyu Estate will be a must place to stay on holiday in Sri Lanka, partially for our plant based menu.

In our experience, we do find that, even if our guests have not tasted plant based options before, they tend to order our vegetarian and vegan options once they have sampled some of Ru’s dishes. 

We cannot get all the ingredients in Sri Lanka.

Although we do manage to source some fantastic ingredients at GlenMyu Estate, we cannot get some of the ingredients that are required for the recipes so we cannot try them all for ourself. 

This is where, although we live on a paradise island, there are reasons to be jealous of you living in the western world where you can go out and pick up a bottle of soya or oat milk from your local supermarket. 

Here are the recipes that I have found that make my mouth water. 

Hopefully you will try some of them and have a delicious plant based festive season!

1. Plant Based Festive Appetisers and Canapes

2.Starters for a Plant Based Festive Season

3.Plant Based Festive Mains

4. Plant Based Festive Desserts

6. Vegan Festive Treats.

5. What to do with Plant Based Festive Leftovers.

We have no problems disposing of leftovers at GlenMyu Estate whether it is the during the festive season, plant base for not!

In no particular order leftovers are happily received by:

The Dogs (we have too many!)

Our Chickens

Our Ducks

Our Cow

And if we actually manage to satisfy the appetites of our animals the remainder can find its home in our compost!

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and try our plant based menu..

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country. We will offer some plant based festive offerings and will try some of these recipes (if we can source the ingredients). 

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

A Plant Based Festive Season Read More »

Christmas in Sri Lanka

Christmas in Sri Lanka - my experience - an expat Brit!

Have you ever longed to get away at Christmas and experience a special festive break on a tropical island? Then maybe spending Christmas on the beautiful paradise Island of Sri Lanka is for you. 

December is part of Sri Lanka’s peak tourist season (which is normally from mid Dec to Mid April).

Of course, Sri Lanka is genuinely a year round holiday destination and there are plenty of things to see and do outside the peak season.

The timings of the North West & South West monsoons normally determine what part of the island is best to visit during your visit

Do they celebrate Christmas in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan Christmas traditions began whilst under Portuguese rule in 1505 AD.

It evolved under the Dutch and British colonisation of the island into the uniquely local celebration it is today.

Christmas in Sri Lanka is a joyous event and the festive atmosphere shared by the entire country. The festive season is celebrated throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas Day on the 25th which is a public holiday. 

Although a majority of Sri Lankans follow Buddhism, Christmas is a popular religious holiday. Even those who don’t belong to the faith look eagerly towards the period when the heavy rains of November give way to balmy weather that marks the beginning of the season. 

The centre of Colombo is decorated with neon Christmas lighting similar to those found in the main high streets in Europe. Lot’s of people drive around Colombo in the early evenings experiencing the lights which are most prominent around the larger chain hotels near Galle Face Green.

The Worlds Tallest Christmas Tree

In 2016 the worlds tallest artificial Christmas Tree was built on Gale Face Green. The tree was 72.1m (236 ft 6.58 in) tall and was opened on Christmas Eve 2016.

The feat does appear on the Guinness World Records Website.

Im must admit I thought it was a little odd that Sri Lanka went for this record at the time and there was a little bit of controversy about the amount of funds spent on this enterprise in a developing country.

Firecrackers herald the start of Christmas season and shops put up Christmas decorations and trees some weeks in advance. Staff in supermarkets don Santa hats (they must be very hot in the store!).

You will also see lots of inflatable Santa Clauses, Santa Hats and other Christmas decorations on sale at even the smallest of shack.

Larger stores stock tinsel, baubles and decorations for the trees. It is a challenge to get a real Fir tree in Sri Lanka so lots of people (including us at GlenMyu Estate) go for an artificial tree. 

It’s not the best however as we want to plant trees rather than cut them down at GlenMyu Estate we feel that it is a compromise worth undertaking.

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When did Christianity come to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a multiethnic and multi-religious country. Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka and apparently was introduced to the tropical Island in the first century. It is said that after Thomas the Apostles visit to Kerala in AD 52 Christianity was introduced to Sri Lanka due to the close geographical and commercial ties. 

As you travel around Sri Lanka you will come across many Christian churches as well as Buddhist temples, Hindu Kovils, Mosques and other religious temples.

Many tourists stay in Negombo as their first stop when they arrive in Sri Lanka’s Bandaraniake Airport. This beautiful beach resort is known as an area that is heavily dominated by the Christian Faith.

One of the towns most prominent structures is the Roman Catholic St Mary’s Church in the heart of Negombo and stands out as a landmark edifice there.

Midnight mass is held in churches, chapels and cathedrals on Christmas Eve and corporate Christmas parties and family get-togethers are held with seasonal Christmas food such as Christmas cake and the famous Yule Log. The Christmas atmosphere in Sri Lanka is truly a delightful one and the festive mood lingers in the air for weeks. Visiting Sri Lanka during Christmas will undoubtedly be an incredibly unique experience.

You can be sure that Christmas in Sri Lanka will be a most memorable one and a little bit different that you are used to, especially if you are living in Northern Europe.

Where can I spend Christmas?

All of the major chain Hotels indulge their guests with a fantastic Christmas spreads and buffets. There are carols, dancing and other seasonal activities. It will be similar to what you experience at  home but with a number of new experiences thrown in. 

Most hotels charge a compulsory Christmas and New Years’ Eve supplement.

If you look online you will see the offers that the hotels provide. Some years ago we went to the Hilton Hotel in Colombo and enjoyed a fabulous buffet which included the traditional Christmas fare alongside options for Rice & Curry, Chinese, Thai and a multitude of other offerings. 

It was enjoyable but it was hard to move after such overindulgence!

My experience of Christmas in Sri Lanka.

Originally from the UK I was used to a colder climate and spending the festive period visiting family and friends over the holidays.

My wife family is Buddhist and I remember one year getting up in the tropical heat to be wished Happy Christmas by my father in law…. and that was that!

I did feel it was a bit odd as I drove around Colombo seeing the amount of Christmas decorations on sale in a country dominated by Buddhism.

However, being able to enjoy the climate and perhaps go to the beach on Christmas Day was a new and enjoyable experience.

Having Christmas Dinner in one of the larger chain hotels was really good and there was opportunities to dance the night away to try to move those extra calories consumed at the buffet!

What happens at GlenMyu Estate over the festive season?

Since opening GlenMyu Estate in late 2021 we are newbies when it comes down to hosting guests over the Festive season. 

In our first Christmas at GlenMyu we provided two families of returning guests their first experience of Christmas which they really enjoyed. The house was tastefully decorated and Ruwanthi cooked up a sumptuous Christmas Dinner with season twists.

It is difficult and expensive to get good quality Turkey, Ham or Beef in Sri Lanka and therefore we opted for a delicious locally sourced organic chicken with all the trimmings.

A different offering in December 2022!

In 2022 we have received a lot of guests that are Vegetarian or Vegan and in order to reflect the changing tastes and requirements of our customers we will be launching a Vegan Festive Menu during December. 

We will of course be offering some chicken or fish dishes with a seasonal twist for guests alongside the Vegan/Vegetarian option

Hot but not so hot!

GlenMyu Estate is located in the Sri Lankan Hill Country and the temperature range is cooler than the coast but not as cold as Nuwara Eliya which can be pretty chilly.

The temperature during December typically ranges from a high of 73°F (23°C) and a low of 68°F (20°C). 

Lots of our guests arrive and enjoy a temporary relief from the warmer tropical climate when they stay at GlenMyu Estate.

If you want further information about Christmas or the Festive Season at GlenMyu Estate please contact Ruwanthi on WhatsApp 94-752-999-121 or email Michael at michael@glenmyuresort.com.

You can also visit our website https://resortglenmyu.com for more information about GlenMyu Estate.

Try a Christmas in Sri Lanka - an incredibly unique experience

The Christmas atmosphere in Sri Lanka is truly a delightful one and the festive mood lingers in the air for weeks.
Visiting Sri Lanka during Christmas will undoubtedly be an incredibly unique experience for you and your family so why not give it a try!

Christmas in Sri Lanka Read More »

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