Festivals in Sri Lanka

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Kandy Perahera

Kandy Perahera

Jon Kaye

Vesak

Buddhist celebration of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Gautama Buddha    The celebration is held on the full moon day in May with among other decorations Vesak koodoos (bamboo lanterns covered in tissue paper) and large electronic light displays called pandols showing contemporary and ancient stories illustrating buddhist stories

If any single day in the Buddhist calender is of equal importance to the Christmas day in Christian calender, it has to be the day of Wesak . All over the country, temples, in the villages, and in the cities, announce the dawn of Wesak, with peals of bells, and drum beats. The devout, clad in pure white, with no make-up or jewelry, make their way to the temple, to spend the next twenty four hours in quiet contemplation. No solid food in taken after mid-day meal, for this day, the holiest of days in the Buddhist calender, one is there to rid the mind of impure thoughts, and the body of impure habits. (Observe Sil ). While the rest of the village, gather at the temple grounds after sunset to participate in lesser religious activities, like reading of holy books, or listen to the saffron clad monk relate ancient stories from Lord Buddha's previous lives. ( listen to Bana ).

Simple candle-lit lanterns like these, that seem to fascinate these youngsters, made with bamboo frames and covered with colored transparent paper adorn every house, for Wesak, is a muted celebration as well. Over two-and-a-half centuries ago in northern India, Gautama was born, attained Enlightenment, and passed away, on the same day of the month, separated by some 80 years. and Buddhists all over celebrate the three events on Wesak day.

Contributors
June 14, 2005 change by giorgio (1 point)
June 15, 2005 change by hirankarunaratna

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The Esala Perahera

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Kandy Perahera
Kandy Perahera
photo by: Jon Kaye

The Esala Perahera (A-suh-luh peh-ruh-ha-ruh) is the grand festival of Esala held in Kandy. Its one of the largest festivals itis believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected 'Perahera' (Processions) – The Esala and Dalada. The Esala Perahera which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th Century AD.

The Perahera is a 10 day festival that happens over more..

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