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The Gangaramaya Temple is located within the city of Colombo, and is one of the most famous temples of Sri Lanka.It was created over 120 years ago, over the swamps of Beira Lake, as a place learning and worship. With one of the best collections of Buddhist artefacts and texts around the world, Gangaramaya is now viewed as an institution of international reckoning.
The Navam Full Moon Poya Day in February, holds special special significance to Buddhists. And since 1979, the Gangarama Temple has held colorful and ebullient festivals known as a ‘Pereheras’ to commemorate this day.
The festival is used to showcase many talents in traditional Kandyan arts. In addition the perahera induces harmony amongst the communities as people, regardless of race or religion, flock to see the festivities.
The Perehera takes place for two days. The main portion of the festival is the parade of the Sacred Relic Casket on the elaborately adorned main tusker (elephant) of the parade.
Mask Dancers, Kandyan Dancers, Drummers, Sword Dancers, Stilt Walkers and many other artisans form the Gangarama Nawam Perahera parades. The events take place at night lit by flaming torches.They are also accompanied by hundreds of monks, Buddhist flag bearers, and traditionally adorned elephants with their mahouts.The Gangaramaya Nawam Maha Perehera should not be missed as one of the best and most colorful festivals of Sri Lanka.