Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2022.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2022.

Here is a list of Public and National Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2022 so you can plan your holiday.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - What is a Full Moon Poya Day?

A Poya Day is a civil and bank holiday.

The full moon day is normally considered as the Poya day in every month.

Poya is the name given to the Lunar monthly Buddhist holiday of Uposatha in Sri Lanka.

Usopatha is a Buddhist Day of observance.

The Buddha taught that the Uposatha day is for “cleansing of the defiled mind”.

On each Poya day, both lay and ordained members of the sangha (community) intensify their practice, deepen their knowledge and express communal commitment through acts of lay-monastic reciprocity. 

It is a day for practicing the Budda’s teachings and meditation.

Lay followers make a conscious effort to keep the Five Precepts or traditionally Eight Precepts.

For further information regarding the Precepts has some further reading.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - The Poya Days in 2022




17th January


Durutha Full Moon Poya Day

16th February


Navam Full Moon Poya Day

17th March


Madin Full Moon Poya Day

16th April


Bak Full Moon Poya Day

15th May


Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

16th May


Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

14th June


Poson Full Moon Poya Day

13th July


Esala Full Moon Poya Day

11th August


Nikini Full Moon Poya Day

10th September


Binari Full Moon Poya Day

9th October


Vap Full Moon Poya Day

7th November


III Full Moon Poya Day

7th December


Undavap Full Moon Poya Day

Please note that these date were researched and found at a Sri Lankan Government website providing dates for public holidays.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka - What does it mean for me as a tourist to Sri Lanka?

Some of the Five Precepts have a noticeable effect on Poya Days for visitors.

Meat, Fowl and Fish products are not available to buy.

Alcohol is not available in most places.

All the Wine Stores and Supermarket alcohol sales are closed. Most bars and restaurants also are not allowed to sell alcohol on the day.

Buddhist Temples will be busy

A special Buddhist program is conducted by temples on Poya Days and is called Sil (sometimes spelt Sill).

Typically it starts early in the morning around 6 a.m. and comprises of sermons, discussion, blessings and meditation. It can last for 12 hours and the attendees are normally provided with food and drinks during the day.

If you do decide to visit a temple either during a Poya Day or outside the holidays please remember to dress and act appropriately.

What should I wear?

  • Trousers/pants/skirts or any other dress long enough to cover the knee.
  • A shirt/t-shirt/blouse or any other dress should cover the shoulders.
  • No hats and head cover.
  • No shoes/sandals or slippers.

When taking pictures.

It’s really important also not to take photos with your back to the Buddhist Statue.

 Please do not touch, sit near or  climb on a Buddhist Statue.

Please also get permission to take photos and never take pictures during worship.

Whatever you plan to do on your holiday in Sri Lanka we hope that you enjoy your time on this Paradise Island.

If you are looking for a place to stay in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka please take a look at our website.

Public Holidays in Sri Lanka during 2022. Read More »