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Kandy Esala Perahera

Esala Perahera 

Dalada Maligawa, Kandy is a must-visit in any traveler’s travel schedule. However, the Esala Perahera adds more popularity to this location as the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is presented for the public to witness and worship it by carrying it through the city once a year. It was King Rajasinghe’s decision to commence such a procession.This ceremony falls in the period of July-August, gathering thousands of Buddhists, and other tourists to the Kandy streets to witness the glamorous festival.

There are 4 major ceremonies heled annually, apart from the religious programs conducted on every full moon poya day.

1.Aluth Sahal Mangaliya
2.Avurudu Mangallaya
3.Esala Mangallaya
4.Karthika Mangallaya

The purpose of the Esala Mangalaya or the Esala Perahera is to honor the Sacred tooth relic and the four guardian Gods Vishnu, Kataragama, Natha and Goddess Pattini. The Sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha is paraded through to streets of Kandy, this procession is done to obtain the blessings of the gods to obtain rain for the cultivation of Crops and the enrichment and development of the Kingdom. 

The Esala Perahera starts with a ritual namely “Kap Situweema” along with other rituals conducted at various auspicious times. Whip dances, fire dances, the most famous Kandyan Dances along with other cultural dances add splendor to the event.In addition to this, there are elephants dressed up in colorful and glistening garments that walk in the procession. The Sacred Tooth Relic will be carried by the sacred casket bearing tusker that is chosen to be the one, in a golden casket. The Basnayaka Nilames (custodians of the shrines that fall under the Dalada Maligawa) also take part in the parade.The pageant ends with the “Diya Kapeema” also known as the water cutting ceremony which takes place in the Mahaweli River.

This Perahera is the only one in the world which is held for 10 consecutive days with more than 50 tuskers and elephants and more than 100 of elegantly dressed dancers and drummers.The Kandy Esala Perahera is a unique religious and cultural icon of Sri Lanka as well as a vibrant festival to all eyes.

Esala Perahera 2018 Schedule

1st Kumbal Perahera17th Aug 2018
‍2nd Kumbal Perahera18th Aug 2018
3rd Kumbal Perahera19th Aug 2018
‍4th Kumbal Perahera20th Aug 2018
5th Kumbal Perahera21st Aug 2018
1st Randoli Perahera22nd Aug 2018
2nd Randoli Perahera23rd Aug 2018
3rd Randoli Perahera24th Aug 2018 
4th Randoli Perahera25th Aug 2018 
5th Randoli Perahera26th Aug 2018 
Day Perahera27th Aug 2018