The 68th Annual Esala Perahera festival of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya begins on July 26, with the commencement of a week-long recitation of Pirith for invocation of blessings.
The festival commenced in 1950 under the auspices of late Incumbent Ven. Bellanwila Sri Somarathana Nayake Thera of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya has been organized on a grand scale this year too, under the guidance of Ven. Dr Bellanwila Dhammarathana Nayake Thera, the incumbent at Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya.
The ancient Kap Planting (Kap situweema) ceremony will take place on August 1 at the auspicious time for the formal inauguration.
A series of commemorative Dhamma Sermons in memory of the pioneer of the Esala Festival, the late incumbent Ven. Bellanwila Sri Somaratana Nayake Thera and late Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Anunayake Thera, who passed away a few months ago, will follow for three consecutive days on July 26, 27 & 28 at the temple premises
Dorakada Ashna Anushasana and the Devadutha Perahera, as well as the Kumbal Perahera of the festival, will take place on August 4, followed by the conduct of the Mal Perahera for four consecutive days (5-8 August) inside the temple premises after the recitation of Suthra preaching on August 3 night.
The ancient Pavada Perahera, in which the relic casket and replicas of the Gods are taken around the temple premises for veneration will parade on August 9, followed by the Ransivili Perahera that parades around the village, the following night (10).
The climax of the Esala Festival, the final Randoli Maha Perahera with a large number of cultural troupes of all provinces and elephants will parade along streets on August 11 night.
The water-cutting ceremony and the Perahera, will be on the following morning (12) and the subsequent offer of Devadaana (alms) at both Bellanwila temple premises and Boralesgamuwa afterwards will culminate the festival for this year. The precursor to the Esala Festival, a series of commemorative Dhamma Sermons in memory of the pioneer of the Esala Festival, the late incumbent Ven. Bellanwila Sri Somaratana Nayake Thera and late Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Anunayake Thera, who passed away a few months ago, will follow for three consecutive days on July 26, 27 & 28 at the temple premises.
This year’s customary commemorative Dhamma Sermon and the alms-giving will take place during July 21 - 22 at Kadugannawa Paramitha Buddhist Centre.
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