Esala Perahera (the festival of the tooth)

Esala Perahera

Esala Perahera (the festival of the tooth) is the grand festival of Esala held in Sri Lanka. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and colourfully decorated elephants. There are fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances. The elephants are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional 'diya-kepeema'.

The Modern Perahera dates back to the reign of the Kandyan King, Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747–1781). During these times, the Tooth Relic was considered private property of the King and the public never got a chance to worship it. However, King Rajasinghe decreed that the Relic be taken in procession for the masses to see and venerate.

After the Kandyan Kingdom fell to the British in 1815, the custody of the Relic was handed over to the Maha Sanga (the Buddhist Clergy). In the absence of the king, a lay custodian called the "Diyawadana Nilame" was appointed to handle routine administrative matters

The Kandy Esala Perahera begins with the Kap Situveema or Kappa, in which a sanctified young Jackfruit tree(Artocarpus integrifolia) is cut and planted in the premises of each of the four Devales dedicated to the four guardian gods Natha Vishnu, Katharagama and the goddess Pattini Traditionally it was meant to shower blessing on the King and the people.

Randoli Perahera begins after five nights of the Kumbal Perahera. Randoli refers to palanquins on which the Queens of the ruling Kings traditionally traveled.

After a further five nights of the Randoli Perahera, the pageant ends with the Diya Kepeema, which is the water cutting ceremony at the Mahaweli River at Getambe a town a few miles from Kandy. A Day Perahera is held to mark the ceremony.

Our Location

About Us

Arya Lanka Tours is a travel organization company license by the Sri Lanka Government. We have the basics of helping the traveling individuals, groups, and incentive tours etc...

You are here: HomeEventsEsala Perahera (the festival of the tooth)
Scroll to Top