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Photographer's Note

The Esala Perahera is held annually in Kandy to honour the Sacred Tooth Relic. It runs for 10 days, ending on the poya (full moon).

Its origins go back to when the Sacred Tooth Relic was brought to Ceylon, which was during the reign of King Kirthisiri Meghawanna who ruled at Anuradhapura from 303 to 331.

The famous Chinese traveler Fa Hien describes a enormous procession in Arundhapura, but it is doubtful whether the procession as described by Fa Hien continued to be held after Anuradhapura ceased to be the capital of Ceylon.

The Kandy Esala Perahera as we know it today, with the four Hindu Dewale Peraheras participating in it, has its origin in 1775 A.D. under the reign of King Kirthisri Rajasinghe.

While the anuual procession in Kandy is one of Asia's most magnificent festivals, since 1997 (after some 900 years!) there is a much smaller annual Perahera in Arundhapura too. It takes place a couple of weeks before its more famous counterpart in Kandy. No seats need to be booked in advance here, just sit down on the sidewalk somewhere and wait for the dark.

more historical info here

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This picture is my opening shot from the Anuradhapura Perahera. It shows a participant getting ready to play with fire. Are you ready?

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ISO-400

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 34 N: 3892] (22083)
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