Sri Lanka National Heroes’ Day: May 21
National Heroes’ Day is a public holiday in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka remembers the contribution of some of the most important personalities in Sri Lankan society from politics, literature, science, and sports through the celebration of National Heroes Day every year on March 21. Historically, the National Heroes’ Day commemorates the effort of Sri Lankans who peacefully fought for the country’s complete independence from foreign rule in 1972.
Some of Sri Lanka’s 20th Century national heroes of the country’s independence movement are Don Stephen Senanayake, Fredrick Richard Senanayake, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, E. W. Perera, James Peiris, Henry Pedris, S. Mahinda, Anagarika Dharmapala, C.W.W. Kannangara, D. R. Wijewardena, and Ponnambalam Arunachalam.
History of Sri Lanka National Heroes’ Day
Britain governed the island nation of Sri Lanka, a country located off of India’s southeastern coast, from 1815 until a peaceful movement gave the country its right to self-rule in 1948. It then followed by a period of being a British dominion status until the country proclaimed itself a republic May 22, 1972.
The country’s name was originally Ceylon before independence. It changed to Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972. The country’s name changes again in 1978 to Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka which is the country’s official name today.
The independence movement which happened in the middle of the 20th century was fueled by some of the most well-respected and educated middle class in Sri Lanka. The movement was a model of peaceful demonstration which helped the country gained independence in February 4, 1948. 1948-1972 was a period in Sri Lanka’s history where the country was known as Dominion of Ceylon. It changed to Sri Lanka when the country in 1972.
Sri Lanka National Heroes’ Day: Traditions, Customs and Activities
Special ceremonial activities are held every year to honor the Sri Lanka’s national hero. The president of Sri Lanka usually presides in the ceremony and confers medals and other adornment to honor the heroes of independence. The holiday is non-work holiday in Sri Lanka.