July, the seventh month of the calendar which was named by the Roman Senate in honor of Roman general Julius Caesar. July is a very important month in Sri Lanka, filled with a lot of sunny days and important festivals.
This month ….Sri Lankans, especially Sri Lankan Hindu’s celebrate one of the most famous religious festivals which is known as Kataragama Festival. It honors the god Skanda who is the Hindu god of war, said to have six heads, twelve arms, twenty names and two wives. Skanda is also ardently worshipped by Buddhists as the Katharagama “Deviyo”. Kataragama festival takes place over several days in late July and the festival commences with several perahera events featuring elephants. Pilgrims come from all over Sri Lanka take part to mark this day despite who they worship. Especially a daunting journey by pilgrims can be seen there from the northern province of the country. Many families camp out for days in the open, near the Menik Ganga (river) bank. It’s an experience which you should not miss out in your life.
You will get the chance to see some devotees perform extreme feats like walking on hot coals or piercing their skin with hooks. The end of the festival is marked by a “water-cutting ceremony”, where pilgrims bathe and splash in the waters of the Menik Ganga river.
There is another festival which takes place at the same time as the Kataragama Festival. It’s known as Aadi Vel. This festival is mainly centralized at the vicinity of Colombo and it was begun as an alternative to the Kataragama Festival for those who were unable to travel. Colorful chariots are paraded throughout the streets, and dancing and body piercing ceremonies are also common. Aadi Vel will give a little less but nice festival feeling for those who could not make it to Kataragama.
Poya days are special holidays and important for Sri Lankans. In the month of July, we celebrate Esala Poya which commemorates several important events in the history of Buddhism. The conception of Prince Siddhartha (Bodhisattva) in Queen Mahamaya Devi’s womb occurred on this day. For Sri Lankan Buddhists, Esala poya is a very special as it was on an Esala Poya Day that the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Prince Dantha and the first ordination of a Sri Lankan took place in Anuradhapura on Esala poya day.
While experiencing all festivals, you better have an idea about Sri Lanka’s weather in July; it’s two distinct monsoon seasons which truly make it a year-round destination. While July is a wet month in southwestern, the island’s northeastern half will be dry. This is a good time to explore national parks and relax in beautiful beaches with the sound of gushing waves. Some of the best beach areas to visit in Sri Lanka in July are Trincomalee and Batticaloa, on the island’s east coast. Here, visitors can explore the cities’ historic forts, indulge in some whale-watching, and sunbathe on quiet golden-sand beaches.
While enjoying everything around this little island, you must visit the Northern part of Sri Lanka and try some Jaffa food. Jaffna is home to traditional Tamil cuisine and people commonly confuse it with South Indian cuisines. Although both styles of cooking are largely similar, the food of Jaffna has its own distinctive taste, and coconut plays a vital role in almost all dishes. You will never ever forget the greatest taste of their famous lamb curry, Brinjal and Drumstick (Kathirikkai and Murungakkai) Curry, Rasam, Modakam, a popular Jaffna sweet dish, Pittu and seafood curries and more.
So, don’t wait anymore. Visit the pearl of Indian Ocean at the first day of your vacation. We are ready to warmly welcome you.

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