At the end of July Sri Lanka will host the festival of the Buddha’s tooth

At the end of July Sri Lanka will host the festival of the Buddha’s tooth
At the end of July Sri Lanka will host the festival of the Buddha’s tooth
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On July 27, at the sacred to all Buddhists Kandy city, located in the center of the island of Sri Lanka, will start Esala Perahera Festival, one of the most important events in the life of the Buddhist world. This holiday is associated with the greatest relic, the Buddha's tooth.

According to the one of the legends, during the cremation of the terrestrial body of Buddha one of the followers took from a burial fire an unburnt tooth. This relic has been carefully preserved and passed down from generation to generation of Buddhist monks until in 371 it was brought to the island by the Indian princess Hamamala, and at the beginning of XVIII century the relic was sent to Kandy, where specially designed for its storage temple Dalada Maligava was built. Since then the tooth of Buddha is always kept in the temple, placed in seven nested in one another golden stupas. And only once a year during the Esala Perahera pilgrims and tourists have the opportunity to behold the vessel with the shrine.

Over the past centuries the ritual of holding the Esala Perahera changed many times, at the present time the festival lasts for 11 days and 10 nights during which people can enjoy a truly grandiose and unforgettable spectacle. The most stunning impression left the marches of elephants (Perahera is translated as procession) passing in the night. In these processions during the feast take part all Temple elephants of the country (about a hundred). According to the tradition, on the back of the first elephant lies the book with the list of all the victories and deeds of the city’s rulers. On the second elephant sits the chief of the royal elephant stablemen. On the third and the largest elephant in the chest lies the Buddha’s tooth. Top Sri Lankan dancers, musicians, torch-bearers and standard bearers are moving as a single stream through the streets of Qadeeh. Also on these days is held a mass of wonderful ceremonies with the apotheosis of a magical ceremony of "cutting the water."

Date: 13/07/2009


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