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Kandy Perahera (Esala Perahera)

Posted by Helium on July 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Acrobats, elephants, whip crackers, swordsmen, torch bearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims parade through the streets of Kandy

As the August moon waxes in the Buddhist month of Esala, one of the most important annual Buddhist celebrations takes over Kandy. During the Kandy Perahera (Esala Perahera) religious ceremony, devotees pray for favourable rains to help cultivate successful crops.

One of Buddhism's most sacred relics, the Sacred Tooth, is taken from the Dalada Maligawa Temple in a golden casket and paraded through the streets of Kandy in a procession of richly decorated elephants, fire-juggling acrobats, dancers, musicians, whip crackers, torch bearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims and swordsmen.

The old cannon booms after dusk and the Perahera (paraders) take to the streets every night, with the parades growing longer each night until the final night of pageantry, when the parade is at its finest.

Legend has it that the Buddha's tooth was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century AD, hidden in the tresses of a princess. The ceremony has happened every year since around 300 AD. Today, pilgrims visit the golden temple, Sri Dalada Maligawa, throughout the year to catch a glimpse of the golden casket which holds the venerated relic.

From Whats on When

Categories: World

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