Colombo City’s most prominent festival is the glorious Esala Perehara conducted by Walukaramaya Maha Viharaya, Kollupitiya every year. This year the colourful pageant will be conducted on 3rd October 2015 at 7.30pm starting from Walukaramaya Temple, Kolpity. This popular cultural and religious parade originated in 1841 when the island was under the occupancy of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers.
Walukaramaya, a great temple runs through an ancient history in Sri Lanka which was established in 1941 renowned to be the oldest temple in Colombo. The land for the construction of the temple was donated by a famous indigenous medicine physician of Kollupitiya, Arnolis Silva. Kollupitiya is one of the major neighbourhoods of Colombo Sri Lanka, rich with many multi-religious and multi-ethnic cultures. Walukarama Viharaya, the Buddhist shrine, acts as the major connecting point for all Colombo civilians, organising many religious, social and national activities every year to fulfil their requirements of life and also to build unity and enhanced association among those diversified groups.
Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo has been placed on top of the list of fastest growing cities in the world in the annual travel study conducted by the MasterCard. The MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities, and gives visitor and passenger growth forecasts for 2015. Today, thousands of foreign and local visitors assemble to Kollupitiya during this stunning and colourful parade where the streets are illuminated with threads of fire, colour and styled motion, mostly created by flaming torches and light bulb-encrusted elephants led by massive Tusker, on whose back is a gold casket containing the relic, the holiest object to Buddhists all over the world. Reasonably the most celebrated religious and cultural pageant in Colombo, the Walukaramaya Esala Maha Perahera bring the glorious history of Colombo alive. The Esala Perahara embodies a number of cultural, religious, political, spiritual and emotional elements of a nation.
This procession is positioned as “The Pageant of Colombo” while creating a global awareness about the unique Sri Lankan cultural elegance continue year on year. These cultural dimensions will highlight the unique features of fashion, dancing, instruments and talents of Ceylon creating a top of the mind recall of the global travellers. Pageant will facilitate the International tourists from UK, Germany, Japan, France, Australia, China, Italy, USA, Netherlands, Thailand, India, and Myanmar based on religious, cultural, research, heritage and community & education.
The pageant bridges the religious relationship between Hindus and Buddhists every year with its unique ritual of respecting God Ganesh by carrying his sacred statue to the temple to worship from the famous Kadireshan Kovil located in Bambalapitiya. The Kathiresan kovil is a beautiful Hindu temple which is dedicated for God Skanda / Murugan. This ritual insignias the great relationship, unity and peace among the ethnicities in Sri Lanka. As such the special relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism are thriving in co-existence through the festival.
Opening of the respectable Statue of Lord Buddha donated by the government of Myanmar and brining the relics of the Buddha to a special Dhathu Mandiraya (an especial decorated shrine) and placing relics on a Majestic tusker will be the most attractive events of this procession. The procession will be conducted through Walukaramaya Road to Galle Road and Kollupitiya Junction via R A De Mel mawatha and back to Walukaramaya Temple.
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