Esala Perahera is one of the most famous and grandest religious festivals in Sri Lanka. The festival is celebrated to honor the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is enshrined in the Temple of the Tooth, locally known as “Sri Dalada Maligawa.”
The Esala Perahera typically takes place during the month of July or August, coinciding with the Esala full moon, which marks a significant event in Buddhist history the Buddha’s first teaching to his disciples. The procession lasts for several days and is a vibrant and colorful event that attracts both locals and tourists from around the world.
The procession usually begins with a group of decorated elephants, often led by the majestic Maligawa Tusker, who carries a replica of the Sacred Tooth Relic casket. The elephants are adorned with elaborate costumes, colorful fabrics, and intricate jewelry, making them a central attraction of the event. The procession features various traditional dance troupes representing different regions of Sri Lanka. And traditional drummers, flutists, and other musicians create a rhythmic and melodic atmosphere that accompanies the procession. And also the procession includes groups of flag bearers who carry various religious and cultural flags, each representing different aspects of Sri Lankan heritage and Buddhism.0