Everything Christmas In Sri Lanka

’Tis the season! Christmas has always been one of the most colourful events of the year for Sri Lanka. The city and its many edifices are lit up in bright gold and red, and carols are heard over the radios from the most luxurious supermalls to the humblest homes. The month of December is filled with the aroma of cake, the nostalgic music reminiscent of grand galas and family events. In many households, relatives and friends will gather together around tables, making — and later eating! — food, or around a Christmas tree to exchange gifts, all happy and relaxed as the year draws to a close. Christmas, although largely a religious event for Christians and Catholics, is an event widely celebrated by all ethnicities. However, following the events of the last year, when Christmas took place eight months after the devastating Easter Sunday attacks, as well the undesirable circumstances of this year amid the spread of COVID-19, the merriness is somewhat subdued. Despite the sombre situation we find ourselves in, we at Roar would like to add a bit of holiday cheer — by sharing some of the most compelling stories relating to Christmas from our archives: 

Christmas In Ceylon In The ’50’s: Swing Bands and Grand Galas

History records social transformation. It is through the lens of historical narrative that we see the ages and eras of the past and learn of the people, places, and events that made an impact. Documented history throws a light on the customs and rituals of people as they wend their way through time, leaving their mark on a particular epoch.

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Christmas in Sri Lanka: A Collaborative Photo Story

It may be December, but outside the weather is warm, and sunny – come afternoon, it can even get hot, humid, sweltering. Hardly what you would associate with a traditional Christmas. That’s not to say, however, that Sri Lanka doesn’t get into the holiday spirit.

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The Cake That Won Hearts (And Probably Husbands)

Sri Lankans have quite the sweet tooth ‒ we love our cakes and often opt for rich desserts. Many Sri Lankans love their tea with plenty of milk and sugar, along with slices of swiss roll or a Lemon Puff or two. Each holiday and festive event provides more reason to bring out plates laden with sweets and desserts to share amongst neighbors and friends.

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Eleven Things We Have The Burghers To Thank For

Sri Lanka’s Burgher community, as we know, is an ethnic group of people with mixed European and Lankan heritage, and they have been present on the island for centuries. Over the decades they have contributed immensely to Sri Lankan culture, and some of their customs have been integrated into modern Sri Lankan society.

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In Good Faith: A Day In The Life Of A Christmas Crib Seller

At an intersection on a busy street in bustling Kotahena is a shrine for St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. Milling in through the three glass doors of the imposing Neoclassical façade are ordinary people wanting extraordinary miracles.

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Cover image credit Roar Media/Nazly Ahmed

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