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Kataragama Perahera Festival

The Kataragama Perahera 

The Kataragama Perahera takes place annually during the months of July and August. This Perahera is a part of the Esala Perahera which takes part in Kandy; It is dedicated to the Hindu God of Wisdom, Skanda also known to Sri Lankans as Kataragama Deviyo. God Skanda is said to have six heads, twelve arms and twenty names. In the Kataragama temple, There are shrines dedicated to Gods Skanda, Ganesha, Vishnu also the Goddesses Kali and Pattini and Kataragama's two consorts Valli Amman and Thevani Amman.

Like other for Peraheras thousands of Locals from all over the country and Tourists from all over the world come to witness this colorful spectacle. Drummers and Dancers clad in beautifully decorated clothes walk and dance and sing among the Elephants, who in turn to are beautifully adorned. Also, another notable feature is the use of Kaavadi from the Dancers. Kaavadi is an arched pole decorated with peacock feathers and colored paper. Pilgrims carry these on their shoulders while dancing to the rhythm produced by trumpets and drums. The infliction of Physica; pain is used as an atonement for sins as part of the rituals in Kataragama. Pilgrims pierce their cheeks, tongue, and lips in honor of this, there are also some who pierce their backs with hooks and then drag along carts or hang from beams.The Perahera usually progresses from the Maha Devale to the Valli amma Devale then it proceeds on to the main road back to the Maha Devale again. The final Perahera held on the last day of this ritual will travel all the way to Kiri Vehera.


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When talking about the Kataragama Perahera is definitely noteworthy talking about the “Pada Yatra”. It is when Pilgrims travel from long distances on a pilgrimage to Kataragama.The Pilgrimage usually starts from the Jaffna Peninsula, the pilgrimage takes several months to complete. The amount of pilgrims increases as they travel further towards Kataragama. The Pilgrims usually sleep in temples or under the open sky.

Dates of the Kataragama Perahera:

1st Perahera24th July 2018
2nd Perahera25th July 2018
3rd Perahera26th July 2018
4th Perahera27th July 2018