Christmas in Sri Lanka is a joyous event, with the festive atmosphere shared by the entire country. Christmas is celebrated throughout the month of December and the 25th is a public holiday. Sri Lankan Christmas traditions began under Portuguese rule in 1505 AD and evolved under the Dutch and British into the uniquely local celebration it is today. Firecrackers herald the start of Christmas season and all shops put up Christmas decorations and trees weeks in advance. Midnight mass is held in churches, chapels and cathedrals on Christmas Eve and corporate Christmas parties and family get-togethers are held with seasonal Christmas food such as Christmas cake and Yule Log. The Christmas atmosphere in Sri Lanka is truly a delightful one and the festive mood lingers in the air for weeks. Visiting Sri Lanka during Christmas will undoubtedly be an incredibly unique experience.