Sri Lankan Culture

Dates of Significance

National Dates of Significance

  • Tamil Thai Pongal Day (15th of January)
  • National Day/Independence Day (4th of February)
  • Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s Eve (13th of April)
  • Sinhala and Tamil New Year Day (14th of April)
  • May Day (1st of May)


Buddhist Festival Dates

The exact date of these events vary every year according to the day of the full moon in the lunar calendar.

  • Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day (January)
  • Navam Full Moon Poya Day (February)
  • Madin Full Moon Poya Day (March)
  • Bak Full Moon Poya Day (April)
  • Vesak Full Moon Poya Day (May)
  • Poson Full Moon Poya Day (June)
  • Esala Full Moon Poya Day (July)
  • Esala Perahera (‘the Festival of the Tooth’) (July/August)
  • Nikini Full Moon Poya Day (August)
  • Binara Full Moon Poya Day (September)
  • Vap Full Moon Poya Day (October)
  • Ill Full Moon Poya Day (November)
  • Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day (December)


Events dedicated to the religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are also observed.

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Sri Lanka
  • Population
    22.235 million
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    Sinhala (official) (74%)
    Tamil (official) (18%)
    Other (8%)
    Note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution.
    [Census, 2012]
  • Religion
    Buddhism (70.2%)
    Hinduism (12.6%)
    Islam (9.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (6.1%)
    Other (1.8%)
    [Census, 2012]
  • Ethnicity
    Sinhalese (74.9%)
    Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%)
    Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%)
    Indian Tamil (4.2%)
    Other (0.5%)
    [Census, 2012]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    80
    35
    10
    45
    45
    -
  • Australians with Sri Lankan Ancestry
    138,268
    Including Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamil and Sri Lankan (ndf)
    [Census, 2016]
Sri Lankans in Australia
  • Population
    109,849
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Sri Lanka.
  • Median Age
    40 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (52.1%)
    Female (47.9%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Buddhism (40.8%)
    Catholic Christianity (20.7%)
    Hinduism (18.8%)
    Anglican Christianity (4.2%)
    Other Religion (9.9%)
    No Religion (3.8%)
    Not Stated (1.7%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Sri Lankan (58.8%)
    Sinhalese (12.1%)
    Tamil [not defined] (8.0%)
    Sri Lankan Tamil (4.7%)
    Other Ancestry (16.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Sinhalese (49.9%)
    Tamil (24.9%)
    English (23.1%)
    Other Languages (1.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 92.0% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (50.8%)
    New South Wales (26.2%)
    Queensland (8.9%)
    Western Australia (7.1%)
    Other (7.0%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival
    Prior to 2007 (53.8%)
    2007 - 2011 (22.3.%)
    2012 - 2016 (21.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/83/lk.svg Flag Country Sri Lanka