Esala Perahara Rituals and their Significance – A Celebration of the Sacred Tooth Relic

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Held every July-August the Esala Perehara is held to invoke the blessing of the Gods to cause rainfall during the dry months. Signifying the victories of the mythical Hindu God Indra over the demon Vritra who prevented the rains this ceremony was coupled with a procession held to honour the sacred tooth relic.

File:Elephants of Kandy Esala Perahera.jpg
Daniel LiabeufElephants of Kandy Esala PeraheraCC BY-SA 3.0

 The Ceremony

The ceremony begins with four Kap poles cut from a lactiferous tree symbolizing signify fertility, which is later taken to the four Hindu temples in Kandy. The poles are then circumambulator within the temple premises alongside the insignia of the respective deity of the temple.

The Procession

The third stage or the Kumbal Perehara sees the procession taken to the street alongside the sacred tooth relic led by the minister of the royal court. The fourth procession or the Randoli is meant to signify a participation of the queen.

The ritual

Finally, a “water cutting” ritual is held where the four priests of the temples with some from the previous processions head to Getambe river. At the first light of dawn, a circle is drawn on the water with a sword and the water within that circle is drawn into pitchers.

View the festivities

In Kandy, hotels prepare the viewing galleries for those who want to view the procession. If you want to view all four perehara why not stay over at Cinnamon Citadel Kandy which is just three kilometres from the festivities and enjoy a hassle-free time during the ceremony.

Damon Starky is a creative nomadic travel writer, who is well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler. Google+

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