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|Sri Lanka - Key Facts|
Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka,
Sri Lanka has a range of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim festivals. The Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August) is the country's most important and spectacular pageant. It climaxes in a great procession honoring the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Second in importance is the Duruthu Perahera (January) held in Colombo, which celebrates a visit by the Buddha to Sri Lanka.
Other celebrations include the National Day, celebrated with parades, dances and national games; Sri Lankan New Year (March/April), celebrated with elephant races, traditional games and pillow fights; Vesak (May), a sacred full-moon festival commemorating the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha; the Hindu Vel festival (July/August) in Colombo, when the ceremonial chariot of Skanda, the God of War, is hauled between two temples; and the predominantly Hindu Katargama festival (July/August).
Cricket is probably the most popular sport.
Major Tourist Spots
Outside of Colombo, Sri Lanka offers a host of attractions to the tourist including many splendid beaches and scenic sites and the historic cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. Other places of interest include Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Ratnapura. Nature lovers can visit the botanical gardens, national parks and bird sanctuaries.
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