Kandy Perahera 2024 from 10th August to 20th August 2024
Witness Sri Lanka's most colorful cultural festival, Kandy Perahera Festival in 2024
Kandy Esala Perahera (the festival of the tooth of Lord Buddha) is the grand cultural festival of the month of August held in Sri Lanka each year. Kandy Perahera takes place in August in Kandy, Kandy Perahera is a unique symbol of Sri Lanka's unique culture. Kandy Perahera lasts for around 10 days and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants.
The Esala Perahera in Kandy is believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected "Peraheras" (Processions) – The Esala and Dalada. The Esala Perahera which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th Century AD.This ritual is performed by carrying the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha through the streets of the Kandy city which is done with exceptional panache
The history of Kandy Esala Perahera dates back to where the Prince Dantaha and Princess Hemamala, the son in law and daughter of King Guhasiva of Kalinga in India brought it to Sri Lanka during the rule of King Kithsiri Meghawanna. The first tradition was to take the tooth relic around the city of Anuradhapura once a year. This tradition was passed down from one king to another though with intteruptions caused by foreign invasions. The most revealing narration of the Esala Perehera is found in the book written by the Chinese pilgrim ‘Fa Hien’ who visited Sri Lanka in the 5th century A.D.
The Dravidian Kingdoms' irregular raids forced the kingdom's capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya, and finally to other places. A brand-new temple was built in each retreat to house the Sacred Tooth Relic. After the capital moved to Kandy, the Relic was at last left alone. Since then, the Sacred Tooth Relic has been honored with an annual Esala Perahera celebration.
The Sacred Tooth Relic and the four "guardian" Gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama, and Goddess Pattini are honored during the Esala Perahera in Kandy. The Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama, and Pattini "Devales," which are located close to the Kandy Maligawa, come after the Kandy Maligawa Perahera in that sequence. The Buddhist clergy received possession of the Tooth Relic after the Kandyan Kingdom was conquered by the British in 1815. The Diyawadana Nilame, a lay caretaker, was chosen to oversee ordinary administrative tasks while the King was away. The Kandy Esala Perahera Procession's goal is to invoke the gods' blessings in order to get rain so that crops can be grown and for the lands to be enriched.