There are special religious programs conducted in the Dalada Maligawa on every Full Moon Poya day where large numbers participate. Apart from these daily, weekly and monthly ceremonies, there are four major ceremonies held every year. They are;
Aluth Sahal Mangailaya;
Esala Mangallaya; and
Of these the most important is the Esala Mangallaya. Esala, according to the Sinhalese Calendar, is the month of July/ August This is the months in which Kandy gets into a festive mood. Shop-keepers and hoteliers pile up their stock to cater to the massive crowds that throng the city. Maligawa and its premises are gaily decorated and are illuminated with strings of lights, including the esplanade.
Esala Perahara, 2010 Kandy Sri Lanka
These lights burn throughout the night. A few days before the Esala
Perahera, A Kapa, a sapling from a tree that sheds milky juice is erected in each of the four Devales. On the 5th day, The Kumbal Perahera begins and goes on for 10 consecutive nights when the sacred relic casket is taken round the streets of Kandy accompanied by exotically costumed dancers and drummers.
These dance forms vary. The most popular dance froms are the Ves, Udekki, Pantheru, Naiyandi, Hewisi, Savang and Leekeli and the dancers with years of experience reveal their dexterity in the performance of their respective dances.
Kandy Esala Perahera
The most colorful Perahera is last Randoli Perahera which falls on the Esala Full Moon Poya day. On this day, at the auspicious time the Perahera starts. The Diyawadana Nilame in full traditional Kandyan dress will enter the inner chamber to receive the Perahera Karanduwa containing the Buddha Relics.
The Mahanayake Thero will place the relics casket on the velvet cloth clonintricately embroidered with gold and silver, held by both hands by the Nilame. As he steps out of the chamber bearing the relics casket, the crowd with one heart and one voice starts chanting sadhu, sadhu, sadhu and the chorus will go on while the Esala Perahera begins.
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