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Sri Lanka
Public Holidays
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Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a national calendar of all 2017 public holidays. Please scroll down to view.

Although Sri Lanka is known as a multi-religious country, close to 70 percent of the population are Buddhist. Islam and Hinduism are practiced in some areas of the country. The majority of public holidays, termed national holidays in Sri Lanka, are based on Buddhist culture and traditions dating from 29 BC.

Sri Lanka observes national holidays including New Year’s Day; Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad);Tamil Thai Pongal Day; National Day; Mahashivrate; Sinhala and Tamil New Year; Labour Day; Eid al-Fitr, celebrating the end of Ramadan; Eid al-Adha Feast of Sacrifice and Christmas Day. Time off may be allowed for celebrations of national and regional festivals. As festivals are not considered official national holidays, entitlement to time off is generally at the discretion of the employer.

Sri Lanka also celebrates Full Moon Poya Days as national holidays. Every worker in Sri Lanka is entitled to a paid holiday on every Full Moon Poya Day, which amounts to 12 days per calendar year. If an employee is required to work on a Full Moon Poya Day, he or she is entitled to compensation amounting to not less than one and one-half times the normal wage. In addition, workers are entitled to paid time off for Festival holidays, usually amounting to 16 days per year.

Labour Laws in Sri Lanka

Labour laws are regulated by the Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations, updated in 2013. Labour laws apply to workers in both the public and private sectors. According to labour regulations, normal work hours may not exceed eight hours per day or 45 hours per week. If an employee works more than the normal work hours, overtime compensation is paid at one and one-half times normal wages. If an employee is required to work on a national holiday, he or she is entitled to be paid 200 percent of the normal wage, amounting to double-time.

Workers in Sri Lanka are entitled to annual leave, which starts to accrue at the beginning of every calendar year. After one year of continuous employment, workers are entitled to 14 days of paid leave annually. Workers are also entitled to a weekly rest period of one and one-half days per week. The rest days usually includes a Sunday, but is subject to change upon agreement between the employer and worker. Many Buddhist workers choose a specific day as a rest day in order to participate in religious ceremonies.

Public Holidays 2017

DateDayHoliday
12 JanThuDuruthu Full Moon Poya Day
14 JanSatTamil Thai Pongal Day
4 FebSatNational Day
10 FebFriNavam Full Moon Poya Day
24 FebFriMahasivarathri Day
12 MarSunMadin Full Moon Poya Day
10 AprMonBak Full Moon Poya Day
13 AprThuDay prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day
14 AprFriSinhala & Tamil New Year Day
14 AprFriGood Friday
1 MayMonMay Day
10 MayWedVesak Full Moon Poya Day
11 MayThuDay following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
8 JunThuPoson Full Moon Poya Day
26 JunMonId-Ul-Fitr / Ramazan Festival Day
8 JulSatEsala Full Moon Poya Day
7 AugMonNikini Full Moon Poya Day
1 SepFriId-Ul-Alha / Hadji Festival Day
5 SepTueBinara Full Moon Poya Day
5 OctThuVap Full Moon Poya Day
18 OctWedDeepavali Festival Day
3 NovFriIll Full Moon Poya Day
1 DecFriMilad-Un-Nabi /
Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
3 DecSunUnduvap Full Moon Poya Day
25 DecMonChristmas Day
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