Sri Lanka celebrates some 30 festivals every year, at least two or three festivals per month. They range from religious celebrations to civic holidays, to solstice gatherings. Sri Lankans take the festivals very seriously, and if you like a little pomp and circumstance, you’ll have a great time. Duruthu Perahera marks the beginning of the Buddhist calendar year in January and is celebrated by a spectacular procession of drummers, torch-bearers, dancers, and acrobats. Sinhala & Tamil New Year is a countrywide celebration where everyone is uplifted in a joyous, festival-like atmosphere for four days in mid-April. Vesak Poya is one of the most important Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka and begins on a full moon day in early May, and lasts a week, with all Buddhist homes, shops, and parks with colorful lanterns.