National Day in Sri Lanka in 2021

National Day in Sri Lanka in 2021
Image via Deposit Photos

  How long until National Day?
This holiday next takes place in 126 days.
  Dates of National Day in Sri Lanka
2022 Sri Lanka Fri, Feb 4 National Holiday
2021 Sri Lanka Thu, Feb 4 National Holiday
2020 Sri Lanka Tue, Feb 4 National Holiday
2019 Sri Lanka Mon, Feb 4 National Holiday
2018 Feb 4, Feb 5
Sri LankaMon, Feb 5Not A Public Holiday
Sri LankaSun, Feb 4National Holiday
Marks independence from British rule on February 4th 1948

When is Sri Lankan National Day?

This holiday is always celebrated on February 4th. Also known as Independence Day, it is Sri Lanka's National Day.

The holiday primarily celebrates Sri Lanka's independence from British rule on this day in 1948 but is also a day to remember Sri Lanka's struggle for independence from various regimes.

History of Sri Lankan National Day

When Europeans first started arriving in the region for trade and imperial expansion, Sri Lanka was an attractive acquisition given its location and geography.

The Portuguese were the first to make a serious attempt at colonisation in the 16th century. About a century later, the island was coveted by the Dutch, leading to clashes between the Portuguese and Dutch.

Eventually, given their power base in the region and fearing the island could fall under French control, the British took control of the coastal areas in 1796, naming it Ceylon. By 1815 they were the first colonial power to control the whole island.

On February 4th 1948, British Ceylon was granted independence as Ceylon and became a dominion within the British Empire. Don Stephen Senanayake became its first Prime Minister. 

In 1972 Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka and became a republic within the commonwealth..

How is Sri Lankan National Day Celebrated?

Sri Lankan National Day is celebrated with official ceremonies and military parades. The main celebrations take place in the largest city, Colombo, where the President hoists the national flag and delivers a speech which is nationally televised.

In addition to celebrating its independence, the National Day is also a day of remembrance for Sri Lanka’s national heroes, past and present. During the presidential address, two minutes of silence is observed in tribute to these heroes.

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