The Kandy Esala Perahera also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a grand festival celebrated with elegant costumes and is held in July and August in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This historical procession is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments.
The Kandy Esala Perahera begins with the ‘Kap Situveema’, in which a sanctified young Jackfruit tree is cut and planted in the premises of each of the four Devales dedicated to the four guardian gods Natha, Vishnu, Katharagama and the goddess Pattini. Traditionally it was meant to shower blessing on the King and the people. The festival ends with the traditional ‘diya-kepeema’ ritual, a water cutting ceremony which is held at the Mahaweli River at Getambe, Kandy.
The Kandy Dance cultural show is one of the most famous evening events in this city of heritage, and is a major highlight of any trip. Starting in the evening, show captivates your ears and eyes with spectacular displays of local culture and art. Covering various aspects of Sri Lanka’s traditions, expect to see drummers, fire dancers, and more in a cultural spectacle that should not be missed.
"You probably won't know much about Sri Lankan folk dancing but find out at the Kandy Lake Dance Club. Probably the most beautiful costumes seen anywhere in the world. Surprise: you move outside to watch the fire walkers. Prepare to be amazed with a wonderful hour.."
- Elaine S.Columbia, South Carolina