Kandy Esala Perahera
An Extraordinary Festival


Kandy Esala Perahera is a cultural and religious festival held annually in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. This festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in Sri Lanka, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.

The Kandy Esala Perahera festival is believed to have originated during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1780) as a way of warding off evil spirits and bringing good health, prosperity, and happiness to the people of Kandy. The festival is held in honor of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, which is kept at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

The festival runs for 10 days and culminates in a grand procession of elephant parades, dancers, drummers, and other performers. The procession is led by the Chief Tusker (Elephant), who carries the casket containing the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha.

The parade features numerous acts such as fire-eaters, whip-crackers, and performers in colorful costumes dancing to traditional music. The festival is a visual feast for the visitors with the lit parade moving through the streets of Kandy. The festival comes with plenty of activities giving visitors a taste of the rich Sri Lankan culture and heritage.

Overall, Kandy Esala Perahara is an extraordinary festival that showcases the unique cultural and religious traditions of Sri Lanka. Its significance and various rituals bring the gathering of locals and tourists together, making it an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.

green hut hotel & restaurant

Useful Tips

  • The exact dates of the festival vary every year but usually falls in the month of August.

  • It is recommended to dress modestly and conservatively for the festival. Remember, this is a religious and cultural event.
  • here are designated areas for visitors to view the procession. Premium seating is available for purchase but cheaper options are also available.
  • As it can get very crowded during the festival, keep your valuables close to you and be mindful of pickpockets and scams.
  • To learn more about the festival, visit the official website or contact the local tourism board for details.