The Kandy Esala Perahera, which is the annual procession of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. It is one of the grandest Buddhist festivals in the world. This remarkable religious and cultural festival wonderfully displays the grand glory of this paradise island’s rich heritage.
Kandy Esala Perahera takes place every year in the months of July and August. Countless numbers of devotees as well as tourists flock to the city to witness this enchanting event and to pay homage to the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha that is paraded around the streets in the procession.
This iconic historical procession is also known as The Festival of the Tooth. This procession is regarded as a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. Fire dancers, Kandyan dancers, whip-dancers and drummers take part in this elegant festival, clad in vibrant clothes. A number of elephants are also included in the procession. Adorned in beautifully worked garments, these majestic beings gracefully add grandeur and stateliness to the event. The casket bearing the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha is placed in the back of a mighty tusker. These regal elephants are greatly revered in the Sri Lanka.
The Kandy Esala Perahera is believed to be a fusion between Esala Perahera and Dalada Perahera. The Esala Perahera dates back to the 3rd century BC. While the Dalada Perahera first took place in the island in the 4th century CE. When the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India.
Procession of Kandy Esala Perahera
The Kandy Esala Perahera starts with the Kap Situveema. In this symbolic ritual, a young jackfruit is cut and planted in four devales of Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and Pattini. The ‘Devale Perahera’s take place in next five days followed by the ‘Kumbal Perahera’ which takes place for five days. After this the Maligawa Elephant, bearing the relic casket with the sacred tooth of Buddha joins the Devale Peraheras. Fire ball acrobats as well as whip crackers clear the path for the majestic tusker. Buddhist flag bearers followed by the first elephant carrying Peramuna Rala (Front Official) are next in the procession. Kandyan drummers and dancers, elephants, musicians and flag bearers come next. A group of singers clad in white go in procession before the mighty Maligawa Elephant with the sacred tooth relic. The Diyawadana Nilame, clad in regal Kandyan costumes follow the tusker.
The Natha Devale Procession, Vishnu Devale Procession, Katharagama Devale Procession and the Pattinu Devale Procession take place after main procession.
This is truly a remarkable cultural event that should not be missed when traveling in Sri Lanka. Get in touch with Green Holiday Centre if you want to obtain more information about this iconic festival.