Esala Festival

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About Esala Festival

Esala Festival in Sri Lanka is normally held in the month of July/August. During this time many religious festivals and celebrations are held in different parts of the island. Specifically for the Esala Festival, colorful processions are taken out for several nights in Kandy, Kataragama, Kotte and Devinuvara.

The finest and most famous is the Esala Perahera, held at Kandy over the 10 days leading up to the Esala Poya day (late July or early August). The sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha carried at the head of an enormous procession which winds its way round and round the city by night.

The perahera becomes gradually longer and more lavish over the 10 days of the festival, until by the final night it has swollen to include a cast of hundreds of elephants and thousands of dancers, drummers, fire-eaters, acrobats and many others – an extraordinary sight without parallel anywhere else in Sri Lanka, if not the whole of Asia.


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Esala Festival