Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Previously till 1972 it was know as Ceylon. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.
The capital, Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, is a suburb of the largest city, Colombo. Some of the other major cities of Sri Lanka include – Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Moratuwa, Negombo, Kandy, Kalmunai, Vavuniya, Galle, Trincomalee, Jaffna, etc.
Sri Lanka is also known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” because of its natural beauty.
Sri Lanka is a diverse country home to many religions, ethnicities and languages.It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda.
About 70 % of the population of Sri Lanka follows Buddhism while 12% follow Hinduism, 9% Islam and 7.5 % follow Christianity.
Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of Sri Lanka.
Diwali Celebrations in Sri Lanka :
Celebrating Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an important part of the culture for the 1.5 million Hindus who live in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, this festival is known as “Deepavali” and is celebrated by the Tamil community.
Lanka occupies an important place in the mythology associated with Deepawali. According to epic Ramayana, Diwali is the day on which Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile after killing King Ravana of Sri Lanka.
While the celebration of Diwali in Sri Lanka may seem a bit more low-key, especially in comparison to celebrations taking place in India, the emphasis remains on wonderful feasts, spending time with family and, of course, the lighting of many candles, diyas and lamps and bursting crackers.
People also visit temples to seek blessings of God and also perform Lakshmi Ganesh Puja on Diwali day in their homes.
As told you earlier that in Sri Lanka, Deepavali is mainly celebrated by Tamilians and hence the celebrations of Deepavali here are something similar to that taking place in Tamil Nadu. On this day, it is traditional for people to take an oil bath in the morning.
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