Aug 01, Kandy: Sri Lanka's premier Buddhist procession, the historic Esala Perahera in the hill capital of Kandy got off to a start today with the first Kumbal Perahera parading the streets.
The Kumbal Perahara would parade the streets for the first five days from August 1st to 5th and the Randoli Perahara will begin after that and continue until the August 10th.
Final Randoli Perahara will be held on August 10th.
The Esala festival will be concluded at the traditional water cutting rituals to be held in the Mahaweli River at the Gatambay Thotupola on the August 11th morning.
The historic Esala Festival, a tradition being carried from the eras of Kings, attracts thousands of devotees, pilgrims and foreign visitors to the hill capital of Kandy and it is a major tourist attraction.
The Perahera, consisting of traditional dances and magnificently decorated elephants, is the biggest Buddhist festival in Sri Lanka.
It is held annually in honor of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha enshrined at the Temple of Tooth in Kandy.
A special security programme has been arranged during the festival season in the Kandy area and the police had deployed thousands of additional policemen to provide security to the public with the beginning of Kumbal Perahera, Central Province Senior Deputy Inspector General H.M.B. Ambanwela said.