August In Sri Lanka
Kandy Esala Perahera
Sri Lanka’s August Serenade of Beauty
The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants. This is held in Esala (July or August) which is the month that is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment. The Kandy Esala Perahera lasts for ten days while various festivities can be witnessed right throughout. The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ means a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers accompanied by a large number of caparisoned Tuskers and Elephants parading the streets in celebration of a religious event.
The tradition of Dalada Perahera, which was based on Buddhist respect and kindness, combined with rituals of Devala, prioritizing the ultimate humanity. The Kandy Esala Perahera Casket which is considered as living Lord Buddha which parades the streets is worshipped by the divinity, humanity, and elephants. This is considered the oldest cultural event in the world and continues with its colorful, glamorous splendor making it an out-of-this-world experience.
This year the Esala perahera will be held on 21st August to 31st August. First 5 days there will be the Kumbal Perahera and from 26th August Randoli Perahera will start. Final Randoli Perahera will be held on 30th August 2023 and this is the most beautiful and attractive perahera among the 10 days. This is the only Perahera in the world that is held for ten days along with more than fifty Elephants and Tuskers, hundreds of drummers, dancers, singers, and elegantly dressed pilgrims and spectators.