The festival of Perahera has attained a unique stature in the cultural milieu of the Sri Lankan society. This is very much evident from the fact that it has been celebrated in Sri Lankan soil from 300 AD.
The Kandy Perahera begins on the full moon Poya day on the Buddhist month of Esala. This is a festival that is common to both the Hindus and the Buddhists as it is connected to the process of invocation of the gods to bless the farmers with rain to cultivate their crops, good health and fertility.
The highlight of Kandy Perahera is got to be the colorful and multi-faceted processions that features traditional dancers, oboe-tooting musicians, fire jugglers, whip crackers, torch bearers, hundreds of well decorated elephants and thousands of pilgrims.
Though celebrated as a whole, the main Perahera procession is an amalgamation of five separate ones with different names and identity.
Elephants have always played a prominent role in Sri Lankan psyche. Kandy Perahera also is no exception with emphasis on these mighty graceful creatures symbolizing- abundance and fertility. In addition to it, during in procession, on the back of the largest elephant, a casket carries one of the teeth of Lord Buddha that was brought to Sri Lanka after his salvation.
Celebrated from 300 AD, Kandy Perahera is a coveted and much awaited religious festival in Sri Lanka. This is a festival to mark the full moon Poya day on the Buddhist month of Esala. Equally popular among the Hindus and Buddhists, Kandy Perahera is a way to invoke the gods to bless the people with rain and fertility for the crops. The distinguishing feature of this fiesta is the colourful processions that includes decorated elephants, traditional dancers and oboe-tooting musicians.