Buddhist literature unveils a plethora of celebrations and festivities held in profound reverence of Lord Buddha. The concept of perahara pageants gained popularity during the reign of Emperor Asoka in India. The Kandy Perahara, a pageant that epitomizes traditional customs, serves as a vibrant display reflecting a blend of Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions.

These customs, while intertwined with religious elements, also stand as a testament to the cultural richness of Sinhala heritage. Many of these rituals have been drawn from the descriptions presented in the “Dantha Dhathu Charitha” or “Dalada Siritha,” a book outlining customs associated with the sacred Tooth Relic. This historical text was penned during the rule of Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326) of Kurunagala.

The “Dalada Siritha” articulates 38 statutes that delineate the conduct of a Perahara pageant. In accordance with these statutes, the Shrine Room housing the Sacred Tooth Relic must undergo meticulous cleansing at an auspicious hour. Elaborate canopies are to be elegantly fastened, adorning the surroundings with a rich assortment of silk garments. On the seventh morning, the king’s council, ministers, and the city’s populace should present offerings of rice, flowers, and illuminate oil lamps. As evening falls on the same day, the city is transformed into a heavenly spectacle. Guided by the chief priests of the Uttara Mula Sect, individuals from the Ganavesi and Kilin castes treat the Sacred Relic with utmost veneration as it is reverently conveyed.

These age-old rites continue to be observed annually, mirroring the traditions of the past while continuing to imbue each procession with significance and solemnity.

August 26th  the first Randoli procession of the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy will gracefully unfold.

Embarking on its journey at 7:26 p.m. from the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the procession’s path will weave through a series of streets. These include Dalada Street, D.S. Senanayake Street, Temple Road, Deva Street, Colombo Street, Kotugodella Street, and Cross Road.

The Randoli procession stands as a profound cultural and religious occurrence, marking a pivotal moment within the celebrated Kandy Esala festival.