Kelaniya Perahera also called Duruthu Perahera was successfully concluded at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya on 22nd of January 2016 attracting nearly five hundred thousand local and foreign spectators. Duruthu Perahera is one of the important cultural rituals taking place annually in Sri Lanka. The origin of the perahera goes back to 1927 when Don Walter Wijewardene started it. Duruthu Perahera conducts in Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya which is the place where the Lord Buddha presented at his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka. This has huge potential to attract foreigners who love Sri Lankan culture and tradition.
The perahera was officially commended by handing over the sacred casket of relic to Chief Basnayake Nilame, Dhammika Attygalle by the Chief incumbent Ven. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangarakkitha thero, under the guidance of the President of DhayakaSabha Hounarable Prime Minister Ranil Wikramasinghe.
Three devala peraheras namely, Lord Vibhishana, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kataragama were followed by the scared relics. Visitors were standing in front of the temple from early morning to see this grand event. Sri Lanka Police supported with a well-planned traffic control to ease traffic congestion.
Large number of tourists from various countries visited to enjoy the event as a result of well-structured promotional campaigns conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau. There were many historical, cultural and traditional events included, many local dancers, drummers and singers were given the opportunity to exhibit their talents in front of local and foreign spectators including the diplomats and distinguish guests. This year Kelani Perahera supported to increase the foreign earnings through ticket sales.
The foreigners were facilitated with comfortable roofed seating arrangements, delicious food and beverages. Sri Lanka Tourism became successful in promoting 89thDuruthuPerahera among local and international culture lovers.