A colourful procession of sorts, the Esela Perahera takes place in the hill city of Kandy in the month of july. This traditional festival dating back to the reign of the Kandyan King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe is held in honour of the sacred tooth relic housed at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. While there are many hotels Sri Lanka boasts of, it is always wise to make a reservation at the Earl’s Regency known among visitors to Kandy as one of the Kandy hotels that cater to all its guests’ need during the perahera season. A vibrant celebration that combines fire dancing, Kandyan dancing, whip dancing and a wide variety of other cultural dances and performances, this procession is also known for its majestically adorned tuskers taking the centre stage during the procession. The grandest tusker of all proudly bears the casket containing the Tooth Relic, swaying majestically to the sound of the Kandyan drums as he goes. There are many traditions and rituals involved in the Esala Perehera all of which are performed with utmost care and veneration. It is said that those of who are participating in the procession prepare themselves from months prior, abstaining from meats, liquor and other impure things for a long period of time.
Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Calliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.