Kandy Procession / Esala Perahara
A one noble ritual which has been taken place over 100 years with the same respectable way in every year to pay veneration for the “Sacred tooth relic of the Buddha” in the hill capital of Kandy is the mostly known “Kandy Procession or Perahera”. Each year on the full moon day of July/ August the sacred tooth relic of Buddha, encased by a golden casket at the Kandy Sacred tooth relic temple and taken in a procession on the back of the temple’s male tusker along the streets of Kandy City for all to see.
This ritual is Sri Lanka’s most famous religious festival and the largest Buddhist celebration in the world. If you are willing to get a lifetime experience this would be one of that. The honorable kandyan chiefs with their traditional royal attire, over hundreds of dressed elephants in their majesty, thousands of drummers, dancers, flag bearers and Buddhist monks, all walk in procession in honor of Lord Buddha. Lightened Kandy streets filled with thousands of people all over the world to homage to Lord Buddha.
The Kandy procession goes to 10 days with two kinds of pageants until the full moon of the month of July / August. First 5 days dedicated for “Kumbal perahara” which parades for the first 5 nights and then will start the “Randoli Perahara” which parades last 5 nights with full of colour and the last night’s perahera is the grandest of all. The word “Randoli” comes from “Queen’s Palanquin”. The procession includes 4 devales (shrines) perahera which includes, Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama, Paththini followed by Maligawa (Palce) perehara.
Millions of people include devotees and interesting spectators from all over the world from various religious back grounds gathering for Kandy city streets to witness this glamorous Buddhist religious festival. One significant factor for that is devales (shrine) perahara welcomes Tamil Hindus and mixed hindu –Christians with their common heritage of praying their very own gods & goddesses with Sri Lankan buddhists.
The president of Sri Lanka and other leaders should continue the tradition of take part in ceremony since they have to dedicate their service to the people in the presence of the sacred relic like the historical Kings did.
If you want to know Sri Lankan culture diversity and witness for the largest Buddhist festival in the world you should not miss this great festival in Sri Lanka.