The Kandy Perahera

also known as the festival of the tooth

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 6th September 2023 :: This Story

The Kandy Perahera, an annual event, recently took place in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The pageant is also known as The Festival of the Tooth and is a festival held in July and August. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of traditional local dances such as fire dances and performances in whip-dance garments.

The festival ends with the traditional Diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony, which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy. The Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century CE, 800 years after the passing away of the Buddha.

The first five days of the Perahera is called the Kumbal Perahera and the next 5 days the Randholi Perehara. There are dancers, drummers, elephants and the whole event is a fusion of colour and music that lights up the night sky.
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