Premier five-star city hotel Cinnamon Grand is set to unfold a truly authentic Jaffna experience bringing together the indigenous food, art, music and entertainment in the first-of-its-kind event celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Yalpanam.
To be held at Cinnamon Grand’s village in the city, the 11-day festival will start on Thursday 16 February and will be on till Sunday the 26. Open for dinner on weekdays and for both lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays, the traditional Jaffna buffet spread will be priced at Rs.2,600 nett.
With a promise to put on a show with only the best and the genuine flavours and entertainment, a team from the Hotel travelled to Jaffna last week to speak to locals regarding dishes that originated in or can only be found in the area, to source ingredients for food items, discover traditional dance and music acts and to trace the empowered women who are keeping the palmyrah crafts alive.
The team travelled the length and breadth of Jaffna discovering the hidden gems of the area that was once under great peril. From the Jaffna (fruit and vegetable) market to the fish markets, to the farms growing beautifully coloured fresh vegetables to homes making spices with domestic utensils, the team met with all suppliers that will source items for the Festival. They even met with persons preparing kottakilangu, the root of the palm tree for snacking to those fermenting grapes for wine.
For the cultural show and craft display, the team met with a number of artists and artisans who wished to showcase their talent and creations at the Hotel’s Jaffna Festival.
A debut initiative to give metropolitans, Colombo based Jaffna diaspora and tourists a slice of Jaffna right here in the city of Colombo, Cinnamon Grand takes pride in unfolding what is uniquely part of the Sri Lankan heritage, but due to distance and times has almost been forgotten, save a trip to the North.
A buffet spread that will delight all those who wish to reminisce the good old days in Jaffna or for the curious palates, all dishes (over 60 to be precise) will be made by Jaffna ladies from the area who have excelled in this cuisine over years and years, having learnt the recipes from their mothers and grandmothers. Cookery demonstrations and food stalls are also part of the plan.
The Kadé at the village that usually house crafts from around the country will even have Jaffna food items and even fresh vegetables and fruits available for purchase.