Even though the Christian population constitutes only 7% of the whole Sri Lankan population, Christmas is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm in the true Sri Lankan style. Majority of the people are Buddhists and Hindus, but celebration of Christmas holds an importance place in Sri Lankan festivities. Preparations are done in advance several weeks before the festival arrives. The people of Sri Lanka find Christmas as the perfect time to share love, kindness, and compassion. People invite friends and relatives to their houses, exchange gifts, and hold lavish Christmas parties. Christmas in Sri Lanka shares an interesting history. When European colonies ruled Sri Lanka from 16th century to 20th century, they influenced the Sri Lankan culture with their own customs and traditions. As such, Christmas became one of the traditions and customs of Sri Lanka.
Sounds of firecrackers at the dawn of 1st December are the first sign of indicating that Christmas is round the corner. This marks the beginning of the first ritualistic task in every Christian home in Sri Lanka. One can see Christmas spirits everywhere, right from small wayside boutiques and parlors to huge shopping centers and malls. You can spot decorated Christmas trees in most of the shopping centers and in every Christian home in Sri Lanka. The commemoration ceremony of the birth of Jesus Christ on 25th December is enjoyed by both Christians and non-Christians equally. Christmas is a public holiday in Sri Lanka and people gather in large numbers in the Midnight Masses.
These Midnight Masses are held in every church, Chapels and Cathedrals in Sri Lanka where every Christian and non-Christian is invited. Lavish Christmas feasts are held in various parts of the country where mouth-watering delicacies and splendid wines are served. These feasts are greatly enjoyed by everyone and show the true festive spirits of Christmas. Looking at the extravagant and luxurious celebrations of Christmas in Sri Lanka, one cannot say that Christmas is a Christian festival. Christmas has now become one of the most special festivals in Sri Lanka that is eagerly waited by everyone ever year.
Christmas in Sri Lanka is celebrated in the true Lankan style. Here are some more interesting facts about Christmas celebrations in Sri Lanka.