Dalada Perahara Kandy is an annual cultural festival celebrated in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is a grand procession that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the country and holds deep religious significance. This article delves into the history, significance, and mesmerizing aspects of the Dalada Perahara Kandy, providing you with a comprehensive guide to this spectacular event.
Dalada Perahara Kandy: A Glimpse into History
The roots of the Dalada Perahara Kandy can be traced back to the ancient Kingdom of Anuradhapura, where the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha was enshrined. The relic was believed to possess immense spiritual power and was considered a symbol of protection and prosperity for the kingdom. Over the centuries, as different kingdoms rose and fell, the tooth relic was moved from one capital to another, eventually finding its way to the city of Kandy.
The Significance of the Tooth Relic
The Dalada Perahara Kandy revolves around the procession of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. The tooth relic is housed in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa. it’s attracts thousands of devotees and tourists every year and one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the world.
The tooth relic is believed to bring blessings and protection to the country and its people. It is considered a powerful symbol of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and serves as a reminder of the teachings and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. The Dalada Perahara Kandy is a way to honor and pay homage to this sacred relic.
The Splendor of the Dalada Perahara Kandy
The Dalada Perahara Kandy is a grand procession that spans multiple nights, captivating spectators with its vibrant colors, traditional music, and mesmerizing dance performances. The procession begins with the “Kap Situweema,” where a young girl representing the goddess Pattini carries a sacred torch, followed by a series of beautifully adorned elephants.
The Majestic Elephants
Elephants hold a special place in Sri Lankan culture, and they play a prominent role in the Dalada Perahara Kandy. These majestic creatures, adorned with ornate costumes and illuminated with colorful lights, carry the sacred casket containing the tooth relic. It is a sight to behold as the elephants gracefully make their way through the streets, accompanied by drummers, flutists, and other traditional musicians.
Mesmerizing Dance Performances
The Dalada Perahara Kandy showcases a variety of traditional dance forms that have been passed down through generations. One such dance is the “Gini Sisila,” or the Fire Dance, where performers walk on hot coals and breathe fire. Another captivating dance is the “Naiyandi,” a graceful display of acrobatics and balance.
FAQ’s about Dalada Perahara Kandy
Q: When is the Dalada Perahara Kandy celebrated?
A: The Dalada Perahara Kandy is celebrated annually in the months of July or August, depending on the lunar calendar.
Q: How long does the Dalada Perahara Kandy procession last?
A: The procession spans ten nights, with each night featuring different elements and performances.
Q: Can tourists participate in the Dalada Perahara Kandy?
A: While tourists cannot actively participate in the procession, they can witness the spectacle from designated viewing areas along the procession route.
Q: Are there any rituals associated with the Dalada Perahara Kandy?
A: Yes, there are several rituals that take place during the Dalada Perahara Kandy. One such ritual is the “Kap Situweema,” where the torch is carried by the girl representing the goddess Pattini to mark the beginning of the procession.
Q: Is the Dalada Perahara Kandy only a religious event?
A: While the Dalada Perahara Kandy has deep religious roots, it has also evolved into a cultural event that showcases Sri Lanka’s rich heritage. It attracts people from different faiths and backgrounds who come to witness the grandeur and splendor of the procession.
Q: Are there any restrictions or guidelines for spectators during the Dalada Perahara Kandy?
A: Yes, there are certain guidelines that spectators are expected to follow during the Dalada Perahara Kandy. It is advised to dress modestly and respectfully, as the event holds religious significance. Additionally, it is important to maintain decorum and not obstruct the procession or the performers.
Q: Can visitors explore the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic?
A: Yes, visitors can explore the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic during non-procession days. The temple houses the sacred tooth relic and offers a serene and spiritual atmosphere for visitors to pay their respects.
Q: Are there any other attractions in Kandy apart from the Dalada Perahara Kandy?
A: Absolutely! Kandy is a city with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Visitors can explore the Royal Botanical Gardens, visit the Kandy Lake, or witness a traditional Kandyan dance performance. The city also has several Buddhist temples and historical sites that are worth exploring.
The Dalada Perahara Kandy is a breathtaking spectacle that immerses you in the vibrant culture and spiritual traditions of Sri Lanka. With its majestic elephants, mesmerizing dance performances, and the revered tooth relic of Lord Buddha, this annual procession is a testament to the country’s deep-rooted traditions and devotion. By witnessing the Dalada Perahara Kandy, you have the opportunity to experience a truly enchanting event that showcases the best of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage.