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Kandy Esala Perahera heralded with ‘kap’ planting

3 August 2019 12:22 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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As many as 275 drummers from the armed forces took part in a ‘kap’ planting ceremony held recently commencing from Aluthnuwara Dedimunda Devalaya.   


After it was brought in procession, it was cut into four pieces to be distributed by Vananku Rala to the four Devales at Dedimunda in Kandy. This ritual marks the commencement of the Kandy Esala Perahera. Usually, kap is planted a year ahead in the Dedimunda Devalaya. 


The tree, when reached a certain height, is guarded until the Kandy Esala Perahera. During the Aluthnuwara Perahera, rituals are observed. It was a Jak tree this year which was washed and tendered until the day of cutting it down 
on August 1. 

 

The stumps of the tree were planted yesterday at the four Devales thus giving rise to the Kandy Esala Perahera.   

 


Devotees are denied access to see the tree until the day it’s clothed in white in preparation for rituals. Vananku Rala, who is in charge of rituals, waters the tree until the special day dawns.  


On the day of the festival, Basnayake Nilame Mahendra Ratwatte handed over a silver axe to Vananku Rala to observe the rituals. Afterwards, he laid the ceremonial axe on a tray of flowers (Mal Asanaya). 


During this year’s auspicious time – which was at 4.33 a.m. – the Basnayake Nilame signalled when to cut the tree. Vananku Rala who pays heed to the Basnayake Nilame, strikes the first blow on the tree and draws the curtain for devotees until a section of the tree is taken out to form kap for rituals. 


Later, the stump is brought from the enclosure under a white canopy to be taken on a tusker to Maha Vishnu Devale where the Devale dedicated to God Dedimunda also stands. 


After kap is brought to Kandy Dedimunda Devale, Vananku Rala takes the stump to the Devale of Dedimunda and cuts it into four pieces to be handed over to the four Devala Kapuralas.   
The stumps of the tree were planted yesterday at the four Devales thus giving rise to the Kandy Esala Perahera.   

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