Sri Lanka celebrates | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka celebrates

National flag
National flag

Independence Day in Sri Lanka is celebrated annually on February 4. We got our Independence from British rule on February 4, 1948. February 4 is a national holiday in Sri Lanka.

It is celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and cultural performances. The main celebration takes place in Colombo where the President hoists the national flag and delivers a nationally televised speech.

The National Emblem

Many national struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka. And on Independence Day all of these are remembered and celebrated. The independence movement against the British is especially recalled.

In the President's speech, he highlights the achievements of the government during the past year, raises important issues and calls for further development. The President also pays tribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka, observes two minutes silence in their memory and vows to eradicate separatism.

National gemstone - Blue Sapphire

A military parade is also held. In recent years it showcased the power of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Defence Force.

There are dances, singing and performances that showcase national unity and culture. Religious ceremonies are conducted in many places of worship around the country for peace and prosperity in the country, its people and the Tri-Forces. The media highlights bravery, confidence, dedication, national unity, patriotism, nationalism, peace, national responsibility and national history.

The President of Sri Lanka is Maithripala Sirisena. He was sworn in as the sixth Executive President before Supreme Court judge K. Sripavan at the Independence Square, Colombo on January 9, 2015. He appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister.

National bird - The jungle fowl
National flower - The blue water lily

The national symbols of Sri Lanka represent the country and its people as well as its traditions, culture, history and geography. The national symbols of Sri Lanka are the national anthem, national flag, national emblem, national flower, national tree, national bird, national butterfly, national gemstone and national sport.

The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka includes the national flag, the national anthem, the national day and the national language. The constitution was promulgated by the National State Assembly on September 7, 1978. On November 14, 1987 Parliament passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which made Sinhala and Tamil the national languages.

The national anthem of Sri Lanka, 'Sri Lanka Matha' is believed to have been written by Rabindranath Tagore and later composed by Ananda Samarakoon in 1940 before the island nation's independence from the British. The national flag of Sri Lanka consists of a lion holding a sword in its right fore paw by representing the Sinhalese people and first king. The dark red/maroon background represents Buddhism. The four golden-yellow Bo leaves, one in each corner represent the Four Noble Truths. Around the background is a yellow border that represents the community of Bhikkhus. On the left side, the two vertical stripes in green and saffron represent the Moors and Tamil communities. The current flag was adopted in 1950.

The national emblem of Sri Lanka used by the Government is for administrative purposes. The current republican emblem was adopted in 1972 after the country was declared a Republic. The emblem has a lion, holding a sword in its right fore paw on a maroon background encircled with petals of a blue lotus. Also it features paddy, grain vase (punkalasa), dhammachakka, sun and moon.

The water lily was declared the national flower of Sri Lanka and Ceylon ironwood (naa) was declared the national tree of Sri Lanka on February 26, 1986. The Sri Lankan jungle fowl is the official national bird. The blue sapphire was declared the national gemstone of Sri Lanka in October 2003. Volleyball was officially recognised as the national sport of Sri Lanka in 1991.

 National tree - Na tree

 National sport - Vollyball