Kandy Esala Perahera, Sri Lanka

What is Kandy Esala Perahera? 

Every July and August, in the beautiful city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, there’s a grand cultural celebration called the Kandy Esala Perahera, also known as the Festival of the Tooth. It’s like honoring a special Buddha tooth that’s kept in a fancy temple called the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of Tooth, Sri Lanka) which is the stereotypical emblem of Sri Lankan heritage. People come from all over to see it!

During the festival, there’s a procession that consists of various traditional dances, including the mesmerizing fire dances and the dynamic whip-dance performances. You’ll see dancers doing cool fire dances and fancy whip dances. It’s like a colorful dance party in the streets!

As the festival steadily reaches its termination, there’s a special ceremony called the Diya-kepeema. It happens near a river called the Mahaweli River, the longest river Sri Lanka has to offer. The ritual is all about purification and renewal of spirits, which is like giving people a fresh start. This majestic festival is significant because it keeps Sri Lanka’s culture and traditions alive, drawing visitors from across the globe to witness its splendor.

Beauty of Kandy Esala Perahera

1. Traditional Costumes of Sri Lankans

Participants in the Kandy Festival adorn themselves in elaborate traditional costumes that reflect Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage. Dancers, drummers, and flag bearers wear vibrant attire adorned with intricate designs and embellishments, showcasing the country’s artistic traditions.

2. Beautifully decorated elephants

One of the most iconic aspects of the Kandy Festival is the procession of beautifully decorated elephants. These majestic creatures are adorned with colorful garments, beaded necklaces, and intricate headdresses, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of local artisans.

3. Spectacular Processions

The grand processions that take place during the Kandy Festival are a testament to the creativity of the organizers and participants. Each procession features a dazzling array of dancers, drummers, acrobats, and performers, all coming together to create a visually stunning spectacle that captivates audiences.

4. Illuminated Floats

As night falls, the streets of Kandy come alive with illuminated floats adorned with intricate designs and motifs. These floats depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, historical events, and cultural traditions, showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of the craftsmen who create them.

5. Traditional Performances

Throughout the Kandy Festival, visitors are treated to a variety of traditional performances, including Kandyan dance, fire dancing, and drumming displays. These performances are characterized by their energy, precision, and creativity, captivating audiences and immersing them in the cultural richness of Sri Lanka.

Overall, The Esala Perahera is a breathtaking spectacle that unfolds against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage and spiritual traditions. For centuries, the Esala Perahera has been a symbol of Sri Lanka’s cultural identity, a testament to the resilience of its people and the enduring power of tradition. It is a celebration of life, love, and faith, a testament to the beauty of the human spirit and the richness of Sri Lanka’s heritage.

Why you must visit Kandy Esala Perahera even once in your life?

1. Cultural Immersion

The Kandy Festival is one of Sri Lanka’s most significant cultural events, deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions. By attending the festival, foreigners have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Sri Lankan culture, witnessing ancient rituals, vibrant ceremonies, and traditional performances firsthand.

2. Spiritual Experience

The Kandy Festival is centered around the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, housed within the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. For foreigners interested in Buddhism or spirituality, witnessing the reverence and devotion of worshippers during the festival can be a profound and enlightening experience.

3. Beautifully Organized Processions

The highlight of the Kandy Festival is the grand procession, where beautifully adorned elephants, dancers, drummers, and flag bearers parade through the streets of Kandy. For foreigners, witnessing these majestic processions can be awe-inspiring, offering a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.

4. Community Engagement

The Kandy Festival brings together people from all walks of life, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among locals and visitors alike. As a foreigner, participating in the festival provides an opportunity to connect with the local community, share in their joyous celebrations, and forge meaningful cultural exchanges.

5. Cultural Understanding

Attending the Kandy Festival allows foreigners to gain a deeper understanding of Sri Lanka’s history, customs, and religious practices. By observing and engaging with the rituals and traditions associated with the festival, visitors can develop a greater appreciation for the cultural diversity and richness of Sri Lankan society.

Experiencing the Esala Perahera is like stepping into a living museum where centuries-old traditions come to life in a vibrant display of color, music, and spirituality. As a once-in-a-lifetime event that takes place only once a year, the Esala Perahera holds immense significance for both locals and visitors alike. For a foreigner, witnessing this grand procession offers a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in the cultural fabric of Sri Lanka and witness firsthand the deep-rooted traditions that have shaped the island’s identity for centuries.

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Memorable and enjoyable 15 days in Sri Lanka with Green Holidays The green holidays organised our whole trip to Sri Lanka according to our suggestions and requirements. We had a perfect, peaceful and enjoyable 15 days holiday. Pradeep and Rashmi booked the accommodation, vehicle for travel and the the driver/guide within a very short time. They were very prompt in responding to our messages and accommodating our last minute changes. The hotels they booked were comfortable, check in was so smooth and the service was good. We were able to do much more than we anticipated because of their coordination. Our guide/driver Romesh was very polite, trustworthy and punctual. We travelled with Romesh from Colombo to Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kandy and Galle in his car without any incidents and reached safely at the airport on time for our return flight. We thank Pradeep, Jay, Rashmi and Romesh for making our trip a pleasant and an enjoyable one.
Emmanuel P
Emmanuel P
Travel in peace and with Personal contact of Green Holidays We used the services of Green Holiday for our stay in Sri Lanka. They arranged the complete tour picking us up at the Bandaranayaka Airport and taking us to Jaffna, Batticaloa, Bentota, Colombo and Kandy including Ella. Green Holiday provided us with a Chauffeur/ tour guide ( Upul) who knew so much about SriLanka and its History and personally took care of our safety and was with us to ensure our check in at the hotels was flawless. Upul is a honest trustworthy person to rely on and was very caring. Thanks to Green Holidays for providing a knowledgeable person to be with us throughout the trip. We had the pleasure of dealing with Pradeep who planned out our trip to our liking with several changes requested by us and was available on the phone anytime 24/7 to discuss and review options. Rashmi from Green Holidays was our local contact in case of any emergency or for information once we were in in Sri Lanka. We were glad to have the assurance of a personal contact while on vacation. Green Holidays has earned our trust to make our vacation relaxing and trouble free. We recommend Green Holidays as a reliable trustworthy company to book your vacation packages. Their team worked vigorously to ensure our vacation is pleasant, memorable and safe.
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Koushik S
We had such an amazing trip and we are back with lots of lovely memories. Thanks to Green Holiday for arranging a wonde We had been to Srilanka for 5 days and we did have such a fantastic trip. The whole place was very clean and the natural look was just fantastic
Sam B
Sam B
Great driver, great Organisation My boyfriend and i took a two week holiday on sri lanka. One week on road, one week beach holiday. Apart from a little mishap at the start when our arrival time was wrongly put at 09.30 instead of 05.30. However all it took was a quick phone to Dilan our driver who rushed to pick us up immediately. Due to delays on the way here and a little visa issue (always double check your passport numbers twice people) we arrived in the arrival hall at 07.30…once we had called the adventure began at 08.15. Dilan was an absolute godsend. Kept us entertained with facts about the areas we were visiting, made good conversation during our long journeys and got us there safe and sound every time. Dilan would also help us plan out our day and was honest enough when something was either gonna be a rushjob or whenever he felt we weren’t gonna get the best bang for our buck at a certain attraction. which we really appreciated, since we had completely missjudged the traffic and the distances on this journey. He also helped us handle check-ins and check-out and as we later found out when we made excursions of our own, he also kept pesky scammers away whenever we went to visit a place on foot. As for the rest of the trip everything went incredibly smoothly. Hotel staff were super friendly with us and safaris and other tour providers were informed well in advance so that we would literaly rock up, get into another car or jeep or were handed over to a local guide and be on our way right away. So long story short, we would like to thank Green Holiday and Dilan for making our trip the adventure of a lifetime and wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone traveling in sri lanka.
Robert P
Robert P
Skvělá zkušenost Naše zkušenost s touto společnosti byla skvělá. Náš pruvodce Upul byl velmi ochotný,trpělivý a vzdělaný. O historii Srí Lanky jsme se od nej dozvěděli snad úplně vše . Ten člověk znal odpověď úplně na vše opravdu úžasný průvodce a skvělý řidič. Mohu jen doporučit
Hana K
Hana K
Absolutely reliable company with best guides. First of all, this company we used for arranging our whole vacation in Sri Lanka worked just perfect. We had no issue whatsoever. For travelling around the island for several days we had a guide Upul. He just was the best! Not only he was driving us around safe, he also knew about history, gave us all the explanations in a very interesting way. He took us in many great, beautiful and even fun places, always stood by our side, guiding us through crowds to the most interesting points and telling us all the information - about history, religions, politics, traditions, nature, you name it. Upul was truly able to answer any question we had. On top of that, he was always smiling, in a good mood, treated us with dignity and patiency. We truly appreciated it and thanks to him and a perfect organization we had the best time in Sri Lanka. I also want to say, that the company manager got in touch with us on the second day, asking how satisfied we were with Upul, checking if everything was ok. It was a nice thing to do. Overall, I truly recommend this company if you want to spend your vacatin with no hassle and great guiding.
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