The iconic city of Negombo, which lies upon the shores of the western coast of Sri Lanka, is one that boasts of a rich culture. Different ethnic groups have harmoniously weaved their own unique customs and traditions to the tapestry of life in Negombo. People of different ethnicities live like one family in this sunny city which has a history that truly fascinates.

This famous fishing city is the one that the first Moor travelers reached when they arrived in Sri Lanka. They established colorful communities in the region that specialized in trade. The area cultivated cinnamon as well. Negombo’s cinnamon gained international fame and soon garnered the attention of Portuguese. The armies of the Portuguese invaders took over the country and eventually, the cinnamon cultivation and trade of Negombo. The locals who resided in the area soon embraced the ways of life as well as the religion of the Portuguese. Even today, after many centuries have passed, Negombo is known as ‘Little Rome’! There are majestic Catholic churches as well as statues of the saints of the Catholic faith throughout the city.

Statues Negombo

Festivals

You can experience the full charm of this city when traveling with Green Holiday Centre. In January, the Festival of St. Sebastian takes place in Negombo. There are colorful processions in the city during this time. Many devotees flock in the streets to catch a glimpse of the statue of St. Sebastian which is carried in the procession. Locals even set up stands to give out water and refreshments to those who are taking part in the procession. The festival of Vesak is also celebrated in Negombo by the Buddhists. It is not uncommon to see colorful lanterns lighting up the homes in the city during this time. The Fisherman’s Festival is a unique event that takes place in the city in the month of July.

Vesak-Festival

The proud fishing community of Negombo takes part in the festival with vigor, by unloading large catches of fish upon the golden shores of the city. The Fire-Walking Festival which takes place in August is centered on the Temple of Munnesvaram. This colorful festival includes fire-walking which makes it truly fascinating. The National Festival of Kites also adds beauty and charm to Negombo in the month of September. Spurred on by the competitive spirit of each other, those who take part in the event often make elaborate kites with strips of saris, dried flowers and leaves!

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