History Of The Esala Perahara
Buddhist Literature unveils various pageants and festivities held in great honour of Lord Buddha.The perahara pagent concept became popular during the reign of Emperor Asoka of India.Kandy Perahara pageant really pageant which displays traditional customs.
Majority of them been intermingled with the Buddhist and Hindu religious customs. The procession of the Sacred Tooth Relic commenced during the regin of King Keerthi Sri Megawarna (301 BC-238 Bc) From there onwards the Dalada procession was held annually and ceremoniously in Anuradhapura. The Dalada procession and the social traditions are linked so much together,the month of Esala has been named as the procession month,because of Esala feast.
In the 18th century at the time of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe the four Devala Peraharas and Dalada Perahara were amalgamated and was made a series of Peraharas. Yet they display and highlight the great value of the Sinhals culture.Most of the customs have taken from on statues stated in the "Dantha Dhathu Charitha" or "Dalada Siritha" (a book on the customs pertaining on the sacred Tooth Relic) Written during the regime of Parakramabahu IV (1302-1326) of Kurunagala.
The Dalada Siritha stated 38 statutes, on which a perahara pageant should be conducted.Accordingly the Shrine Room of the Sacred Tooth Relic should be cleaned at the auspicious hour.canopies should be tied, should be decorated beautifully with various silk clothes; The king team of ministers and general public of the city should make offering of rice,flowers and light oil lamps on the 7th day morning,the city should be decorated like the heaven in the same day evening, the chief priests of Uttara Mula Sect personnel of two castes Ganavesi and Kilin should move the Sacred Relic casked with utmost veneration. These rites were performed annually. Even today rights were performed accordingly.