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The Kandy Esala Perahera

The Kandy Esala Perahera
The grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka

The day  of the Kandy Perahera begins with the planting of a sanctified young Jackfruit Tree, its actual planting decided by astrologers who can divine the most auspicious moment. The sapling is sprinkled with sandalwood scented water and offerings are made of nine kinds of flowers and an oil lamp with nine wicks.

By night the main act begins.

Dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, monks, priests, and lavishly decorated elephants. take to the streets of the city for 10 days to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic and the four ‘guardian’ Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Goddess Pattini.

The act is part of a ritual to beseech the gods to obtain rain for the crops. It is made up of five processions organized by the Sri Dalada Maligawa , the most venerated Buddhist temple of Sri Lanka and four shrines dedicated to Hindu Gods and a Goddess: the Shrine of God Natha, the Shrine of God Maha Vishnu, the Shrine of God Katharagama, and the Shrine of Goddess Pattini.

Whip crackers lead it off, followed by Flag Bearers carrying flags of the different provinces and temples. Then come the drummers and flautists, dancers, fire eaters, acrobats, jugglers – and fifty elephants. The chief attendant is the tooth relic itself, borne on the largest elephant.

The actual timing of the festival is decided late in the year by the astrologers but usually occurs in late July to early August.

To arrange a visit please contact the Hotel Office.
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