The golden paddy fields of Jetwing Vil Uyana will be the venue for one of Sri Lanka's most celebrated festivals in recent times - The Harvest Festival. It's rare but real.
A fully fledged traditional harvesting festival is taking place in the habitats of a Small Luxury Hotel of the World on Saturday 20th March. Jetwing, known for inventing unique events around its amazingly exclusive properties have lined up a host of traditional fringes to celebrate the harvest festival at Jetwing Vil Uyana this season.
In 1602 when the Dutch envoy Spilbergen wrote in his journal that Sri Lanka was a country very "rich in rice" he could not have made a more accurate statement. Over the centuries from the beginning of the island's ancient history, rice has been central to the growth and development of the nation. It was agriculture that attracted the early settlers of the 5th and 4th centuries BC and led to an advanced hydraulic civilization. Although agriculture has undergone numerous changes during its long history the cultivation of paddy continues to be a primary way of life for the people of the island especially in rural areas.
From a seed in the ground in the month of October to a plate of rice in March the process of paddy cultivation is undoubtedly a fascinating and enriching experience. Beginning with the clearing, cleaning and ploughing of the fields during the Vap Magula season, to the transplanting of little paddy saplings from the nursery to the field, the farmers have a busy four to five months of ensuring that adequate water and nutrients are supplied for planted crops.
The harvesting festival at Jetwing Vil Uyana is tipped to be an elegant countryside holiday experience as the guests can seize the opportunity of joining the local crew of farmers in action.
The festival will begin with traditions and rituals to thank god for a bountiful harvest followed by the beat of the Raban, when the farmers sharpen their sickles in preparation to sear through the long sheaves of paddy that have grown out of seeds planted a few months before. An exciting gourmet feast has been planned in the paddy fields where the guests can experience a tempting spread full of traditional Sri Lankan flavours.
The paddy bundles are then transported to the Kamatha (threshing field) where the buffaloes tread on bundles of paddy in order to separate the stalks from the grain. It's one of the best photographic opportunities to see the buffaloes in action at the kamatha as the sunset begins to emit colours on the spectacular Sigiriya Rock.
An attractive harvest offer is now available from Jetwing Vil Uyana. A dwelling is now available for Rs. 9,500 per person on twin or triple sharing basis.
Though Jetwing Vil Uyana is located in a lavish 24 acre land, there are only twenty five splendid dwellings for the privileged few.