The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants. This is held in Esala (July or August) which is the month that is believed to commemorate the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment.
The national flag is hoisted and the national anthem sung, the traditional lamp is lit and the processions begin, complete with meticulously coordinated military parades, firing of canons and various religious and cultural performances, all to paying tribute to the forefathers of the land for their glorious feat.
The calendar year universally begins on 1st January and ends on 3 I st December. However, many nationalities throughout the globe follow different calendars from this standard frame of 1st January to 31st December. What N currently followed globally is the Christian calendar beginning from the Birth of Christ.
Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple has always ensured that the ancient traditions and culture of our country are preserved. It is with this aim that Podi Hamuduruwo revived our heritage performances of dance and music through the Navam Maha Perahera where thousands of artistes from around the Island gather in celebration. Traditions that were gradually disappearing into the past were brought to life and sustained with the support of the Temple.