Kelaniya Duruthu Perahera commences | Daily News


Kelaniya Duruthu Perahera commences

The Annual Kelaniya Duruthu Perahera at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara began yesterday and will continue until January 9.

The historic Kelaniya Duruthu Maha Perahera had its origins in the year 1927, due largely to the efforts of the great philanthropist Don Walter Wijewardene, son of Helena Wijewardene Lamathani of Sedawatte, a release issued by Chief Basnayake Nilame of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya, Dhammika Attygalle said.

The perahera will commence with the handing over the relic casket to Chief Basnayake Nilame Dhammika Attygalle by the Viharadhipathi Ven. Prof. Kollupitiya Mahinda Sangharakkhita Nayake Thera.

Three Devala Peraheras will follow the main Sacred Relics Perehera. They are the perahera of the Devalas of Lord Vibishana, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kataragama. The Basnayake Nilames of the respective Devala Peraheras are Lalith Hapangama, Jayaraja Chandrasekera and Samantha Perera.

The perahera is organised under the guidance of Ven. Prof. Kollupitiya Mahinda Sangharakkhita Nayake Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and Dr. Saman Weerasinghe, newly elected President of Kelaniya Dayaka Sabha.

The perahera will commence at 8.00 pm. This year too special effort is being made to focus on tourists eager to acquaint themselves with the majesty and splendour of Sri Lanka’s cultural facets such as this historic perahera. There will be a special enclosure for tourists to view the perahera, organised in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

During the Duruthu Fetival, illumination of the the Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara premises will be sponsored by Sunil Thilakawardane, Chairman, Thilakawardane Textiles, Kiribathgoda.

This religious and cultural pageant has evolved over the years to become the country’s most elaborate and grandest low country pageant.

The Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya is the most sacred temple in the Western Province since Lord Buddha’s sojourn here during his third historic visit to Sri Lanka.

The temple celebrates this event annually on Duruthu Poya in January by conducting a historic, traditional and cultural pageant, the ‘Kelani Perahera’.

Whilst the Kelani Perahara commemorates the religious significance of Lord Buddha’s visit, it also supports and revives Sri Lanka’s cultural traditions of drummers, dancers, singers, caparisoned elephants and colourful parades, which have always made this event a night of all night.

Meticulous attention has been paid to all details with the objective of perpetuating the traditional rites, ritual and customs long associated with this magnificent pageant.

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