• View of Kandy perahera elephants in Sri Lanka

    Kandy Esala perahera

starting from $ 155 85 per night

View of Kandy Esala Perahera in Sri Lanka

Kandy Esala perahera

Every year, in July or August, the Esala Perahara (procession) parades the streets of Kandy city in a riot of colours, drawing in devotees in their thousands from far and wide, to witness a procession like no other. Held to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four ‘guardian’ Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Goddess Pattini, the Esala Perahera in Kandy is perhaps the grandest and the most important of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring a vibrant mix of dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated tuskers and elephants. This is held in the month of Esala (July or August) which is the month that is believed to mark the first sermon of Dhamma given by the Lord Buddha to his five main disciples after he’d attained enlightenment. At an auspicious time determined by the astrologers, the first ritual ‘Kap Situ Weema’ (planting of a sanctified young Jackfruit Tree) will be carried out to start the rituals that mark the starting of the Perahera. The Jackfruit tree is sprinkled with sandalwood-scented water and the offering comprises nine varieties of flowers and an oil lamp with nine wicks. The priest of the Maha Vishnu Devale (Vishnu Temple) invokes his prayers to all the gods. The Kandy Esala Perahera concludes with the Diyakapeemea Mangalyaya (a ceremony where the surface of the water is symbolically cut with a golden sword by the head priest of the devalayas). The roots of the Kandy Esala Perahara go as far as the 3rd Century B.C.

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