As the august moon waxes in the Buddisdt month of esala, the streets of Kandy erupt in a ten-day-long pageant, which few can match in antiquity, grandeur or barbaric splendour, young man mortify their flesh while fulfilling vows to the Hindu god Skandha by walking ‘’in harness’’with spikes in their backs accompanied by a fabulous procession.
The procession includes fire-juggling acrobats, sumptuously-decorated elephants, traditional dancers, oboe-tooting musicians, banners,palanquins,whip crackers,torch bearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims and swordsmen.To top it off,all he has happened every since about 300AD.
The action is made even more mesmerizing because it happens at night.The old cannon booms after dusk and the perahera (paraders)take to the streets for ten nights,with the parades growing ever longer each night until the final night of pageantry when the parade is at the finest.
The festival is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and is dedicated not just to Skandha but also to Buddha.It is held to invoke the blessing of the gods or rain,fertility,successful crops and good health. Elephant feature heavily as they are symbols of abundance and fertility- the ‘’clouds who walk the earth’’ instrumental in attracting the vital rain for harvest time.
Dates of the Kandy Esala Perahera 2016
8th Aug 2016 to 18th Aug 2016.
(Subject to change).
Date and Event
3rd or 5th Aug 2016- Kapsituvima (Planting of the ‘Kapa’)
3rd or 5th Aug 2016 to 7th Aug 2016- Internal Perahera of Four Devales
8th Aug 2016- 1st Kumbal Perahera
9thAug 2016 – 2nd Kumbal Perahera
10th Aug 2016- 3rd Kumbal Perahera
11th Aug 2016- 4th Kumbal Perahera
12th Aug 2016- 5th Kumbal Perahera
13th Aug 2016- 1st Randoli Perahera
14th Aug 2016- 2nd Randoli Perahera
15th Aug 2016- 3rd Randoli Perahera
16th Aug 2016- 4th Randoli Perahera
17th Aug 2016- 5th Randoli Perahera
18th Aug 2016- Day Perahera(Water Cutting Ceremony “Diya Kepeema”)
Vesak is considered as both a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. Vesak is one of the biggest days of the year in the Buddhist calendar and is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Vesak is a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of May.
Buddhists commemorate the important events that took place in the life of Lord Buddha on the Vesak day. First comes the birth of Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini in Nepal which took place under the arbor of Sat trees where queen Mahamaya gave birth to him. The second event was Siddharta Gautam’s supreme attainment as the Buddha, the Enlightened One. The third event was Lord Buddha’s Parinibbana over 2500 years ago at Kusinagar.
Many Asian countries, including Sri Lanka,India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan celebrate Vesak. Many religious activities are organized during this period in Sri Lanka such as Sil campaigns, Bodhi Poojas, Dansalas (Freely giving foods, coffee, tea from people), Vesak devotional songs (Bakthi Gee), pandols (thoran) and lanterns.
The “Hummanya” blow hole is a well-known attraction in the Dickwella region of Sri Lanka. It is the only known blow hole in Sri Lanka and maybe the second largest in the world. In essence, it means a distance where the sound of “hoo” can easily be listened or heard by a person. It is a well-known attraction for the travellers and tourists visiting the area and is well known for its uniqueness and excitement aspect.
You have to climb quite a few shallow steps in order to enjoy the breathtaking view and most importantly to reach the point from where this blow-hole is visible. While you are up here, you can see beautiful rocky cliffs and the blue green expanse of water. The blow-hole itself is a natural wonder created in the middle of this cliff. There is a gap through which seawater comes gushing up with a loud hoooooooo sound which will give you the impression of a tall fountain. The water pressure builds up more or less every 15 minutes and sometimes the stunning spray can rise as high as 100 feet.
Overall, this beautiful place is a must see location and seeing this blow hole will definitely be a heady as well as an unforgettable experience of yours for sure.
Pidurangala is a giant rock formation located a few kilometres north of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Just like Sigiriya, Pidurangala rock was formed by volcanic activity. Although Pidurangala appears to be larger than Sigiriya, its upper surface is steeply sloped and is a solid rock. Due to this reason it wasn’t suitable for large scale building activities, hence less grand and far more difficult to climb therefore overlooked by tourists.
The main path towards to the right hand side of the cave temple leads towards the top of the Pidurangala Rock. There are clear steps in some areas, but not always. Anyway the climbing is not that difficult. There is a Buddha statue located in the main cave and is approximately 48ft.
Climbing to the top of the Pidurangala rock is more strenuous than climbing the Sigiriya rock however, once you climbed to the top of Pidurangala rock, you can get a breath-taking view of the surrounding including the Sigiriya Rock.