Kandy Esala Perahera 2016

Esala Perahera is one of the Asia’s most spectacular shows held in Kandy, a small town in Sri Lanka. This festival typically lasts for ten days commencing on Esala Full Moon Poya Day in the month of July and ending on Nikini Full Moon Poya Day in August. Kandy Esala Perahera is a unique festival with origins that dates back to 3rd century of ancient times. During 18th century, this event has become more significant and turned into an annual Buddhist affair which is celebrated as the festival of the tooth relic. People believe that this auspicious festival should be celebrated with highest regard and reverence as it invokes the god’s blessings for rainfall, successful crops, good health and prosperity.

Significance of Esala Perahera:

  • The most important part of Esala Perahera is the display of sacred tooth of Buddha which was believed to be taken from the funeral pyre of the Buddha in 543 BC, and later brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century. For more than centuries this revered tooth has been housed by the temple of tooth relic in Kandy and the replica of casket containing the tooth is used in the parades for exhibit.
  • The Kandy Esala Perahera organized by Dalala Maligawa (the temple of tooth relic) is actually the combination of five parades altogether each representing a Hindu shrine of god or goddess with names Vishnu, Natha, Kataragama and Pattini located in Kandy. Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims, locals and tourists from other countries come to this place to watch this spectacular view of traditional festival parades.

Highlights of Esala Perahera

Esala perahera is a great celebration to view at nights as it comprises of more than 5000 cultural dancers in traditional dresses, fire twisters, traditional musicians, drummers and decorated elephants in lavish garments parade through the streets of Kandy. The parade grows larger each night and the last two days before closing it becomes the most riotous and worth watching event. During this time, many devotees, spectators, foreign tourists and all distinguished guests eagerly wait to see the magnificent view of Maligawa tusker carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha.

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