Perahara Festivals In Sri Lanka
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Perahara in Sri lanka
Perahara, Perahera or in Sinhala පෙරහර, පෙරහැර is commonly named as Pageants in English. Since from the lifetime of the Buddha in 6th century BC, the Perahara Festivals were held to commemorate Buddha’s conception, his Renunciation, and the first Sermon. Several Records have been left behind by dignitaries and other visitors to the island such as Robert knox, John devy etc. Sri Lanka annually holds more than 350 peraharas all around the island. Most common perahara festivals are Kandy Esela Perahara, Katharagama perahara etc.
Sanghamitta Perahara, Dalandhaa Perajhara, Dhaathu Perahara (Sacred relic of lord Buddha) and Dewala Peraharas are some perahara types held in Sri Lanka. A unique symbol of Sri Lanka, the procession consists of many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan, Sabaragamuwa and Down South dances (relative to the area) and various other cultural dances which are unique to sri lanka and also to those areas which perahara is held, in addition to the elephants who are usually adorned with lavish garments. Many festivals end with the traditional diya-kepeema ritual, a water cutting ceremony.