Nuwara Eliya, A city in the hill country of Sri Lanka, comes alive during the April summer season abuzz with a variety of activities showcasing sports, culture, arts and music.
Nuwara Eliya has a rich heritage dating back to the year 1819 and is the home of the renowned tea manufacturing country side. Filled with breathtaking views of valleys meadows and greenery filled with renowned waterfalls and tea estates, Nuwara Eliya offers a unique experience. During the Summer month of April, Nuwaraeliya witness the high tide of activities that complements the beautiful natural environment.
Situated 1868 meters above sea level, Nuwara Eliya is situated in the Nuwara Eliya District and has` a sub tropical highland climate and provides ideal weather conditions for the flourishing tea plantations. The City of Nuwara Eliya and the facilities surrounding the popular Gregory's lake, parks, golf courses and race course attracts many events and activities for tourists including visits to tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and opportunities to explore the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus.
Vesak is the main Buddhist religious festival in Sri Lanka. During this time, people celebrate the triple anniversary of Lord Buddha - his birth, his attaining of Enlightenment and his passing away into Nirvana.
Also known as the Buddhist Festival of Light, colorful bamboo framed lanterns adorn the interior of every home and incredible luminous displays decorate the streets of most towns. Visit Bhauddoloka Mawatha, the main street in Colombo, to catch this glowing spectacle in full glory.
Vesak marks the first month of the Buddhist Calendar. This is a day spent in reflective prayer as people cease wordly pursuits and engage themselves in religious activities. Devotees Buddhists pray in temples from dawn until the dusk. As the sun sets, devotees partake in processions and return to the temples in the evening to hear monks read stories from sacred texts.
Stalls on the roadside distribute free refreshments to passers-by and there are some fantastic mime and street theatre performances, staged on tall platforms near temples in cities and towns throughout the country.
The month of Esala (July), during which period this annual pageant is usually held, had been considered a month of celebrations and festivity, both among Indians and Sri Lankans. Even from the lifetime of the Buddha in the 6th century BC, the Esala festival was held to commemorate the Buddha's Conception, his Renunciation and the First Sermon. Esala is also considered to be the beginning of the raining season (Vassana) when the monks commence their Retreat. Also, this month is considered to be the period when ritual performances to the protective divinities are held, (eg Pattini puja) as recorded in the text 'Pattini-Halla'. Being considered a 'chaste' month, the period is held sacred for the availability of water, hence prosperity.