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Kandy Esala Perahera

The Kandy Esala Perahera, one of Sri Lanka’s most famous religious festivals, takes place every year in the hill-capital Kandy, in the full-moon month of Esala coinciding with July/August.Held to seek blessings for a good harvest from the deities, ten days of increasingly frenetic activity culminate in an ancient, awe-inspiring procession that for centuries has drawn religious devotees, and more recently tourists, to Kandy’s narrow hill-streets.Heralded by thousands of Kandyan drummers, a host of majestic elephants, adorned in elaborately embroidered cloaks, are led by the brilliantly caparisoned Maligawa Tusker.Decorated from trunk to toe, he carries a huge canopy that shelters, a replica of the cask containing the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha.The Esala Perahera actually comprises of five separate Peraheras – four from the Kandy devales (shrines) to the deities – with order of precedence maintained throughout.
Led by the Dalada Maligawa Perahera, the second is to Natha, a deity of special importance to Kandy, believed to be Buddha-in-waiting.The third is to Sri Lanka’s Guardian Vishnu, also one of the three great Hindu gods and an important figure in representing the crossover between Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Fourth and fifth peraheras are from the shrines to god of war and victory Katharagama, and goddess of chastity Pattini.
Tentative dates of the Kandy Esala Perahera 2017:
29thJuly – 08th August 2017
Date Event
2017 July 29th 1st Kumbal Perahera
2017 July 30th 2nd Kumbal Perahera
2017 July 31st 3rd Kumbal Perahera
2017 August 01st 4th Kumbal Perahera
2017 August 02nd 5th Kumbal Perahera
2017 August 03rd 1st Randoli Perahera
2017 August 04th 2nd Randoli Perahera
2017 August 05th 3rd Randoli Perahera
2017 August 06th 4th Randoli Perahera
2017 August 07th 5th Randoli Perahera
2017 August 08th Day Perahera
Picture Gallery of Kandy Esala Perahera