Kandy Esala Perahera

Ada Derana - adaderana.lk

An extravagant festival filled with traditional local dances, and beautifully garmented elephants, the Esala Perahera is like no other. This massive procession, also known as Sri Dalada Perahera or the Festival of the Tooth, is one of South Asia's grand celebrations, held annually in the month of Esala (July and August) to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It is an epitome of Sri Lanka's prestigious religious festivities.

Taking place in Kandy, the entire procession is a 10-day spectacle. Starting from the 'Devale Perahera' during the first 5 nights, this takes place within the 4 Devales dedicated to the guardian gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and the goddess Pattini.

The procession commences with the 'Kumbal Perahera' during the subsequent 5 nights, with the 'Randoli Perahera' beginning afterwards and lasting for further 5 nights.

The 'Maha Randoli Perahera' takes place on the fifth night of the Randoli Perahera, and is the final procession that draws in a massive crowd from around the country. It is the climax of the Esala Perahera. Whip-crackers, fireballs acrobats, Buddhist flag bearers, brilliantly ornate elephants, Kandyan drummers, and elegant dancers grace the Kandy streets as they parade through the night.

The festival ends with the Diya Kepeema, which is the water cutting ceremony at the Mahaweli River.