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Christmas Celebration

Christmas in Sri Lanka is celebrated in the true Lankan style. Although the majority of Sri Lankan population in Buddhists and Christians make up only 7% of the total population of the country, Christmas in Sri Lanka is celebration with great enthusiasm. The first sign of Christmas celebrations in Sri Lanka dates back to many centuries, when Sri Lanka (Ceylon) was ruled by Portuguese from 1505 to 1650 AD, followed by the Dutch and the British who ruled Sri Lanka from 1658 to 1796 and 1815 to 1948, respectively.

Here are some more interesting facts about Christmas celebrations in Sri Lanka.

Preparations for Christmas in Sri Lanka start several weeks prior to the festival. The festive sound of firecrackers at the dawn of December 1st is the first sign of intimation that Christmas in round the corner. This is the time when every Christian household in the country performs the first ritualistic task of the festive season. Christmas spirit can be seen everywhere- from small wayside boutiques to huge shopping centers during the celebration of Christmas in Sri Lanka. Christmas tree are beautifully decorated and lit up in most of the shopping complexes and every Christian household in the country.

December 25th, the commemoration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ is equally enjoyed by both the Christians and non-Christians of Sri Lanka. It is a public holiday on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, Christians attend the Midnight Mass held in churches, little Chapels and Cathedrals all over the country. Christians invite their non-Christian friends to Christmas parties and get-together. People in the country find the festival as the perfect time to visit their relatives, friends, and neighbors to share the seasonal Christmas cake and wine and enjoy lavish lunch and dinner. This continues until the Christmas season in Sri Lanka culminates.


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