Perahera in Kandy

This item appears on page 35 of the February 2012 issue.

We traveled to Sri Lanka primarily to see the Kandy Nawah Maha Perahera, the Pageant of Kandy, an absolutely exciting procession honoring the relic of the tooth of Buddha. This festival is held for about 10 days, with the last day falling on the first full moon in August (for 2012, July 23-Aug. 2). We attended the procession on the eighth night. The streets were packed and there was a carnival atmosphere. Then the procession began, with men cracking whips as they walked down the street. They were followed by bands with drums beating and horns blowing. There were dance troupes with dancers of all ages. Next, the elephants filed by us, outlined in colored lights, their bodies covered with beautiful fabrics. Imagine an elephant covered with white lights, followed by one with red, then gold, then blue and on and on. The procession lasted about 2½ hours. Pictures can’t begin to capture the event. My senses of sight, sound and smell all were involved. A wonderful experience to be treasured and long remembered! SANDRA R. YON Virginia Beach, VA