Whip cracks ring out, signifying the start of one of the much awaited events of the year. A promise of visceral splendour, ‘Navam Perahera’ is a grand procession of tuskers, dancers, drummers, torch bearers, fire-eaters and acrobats making their way down the streets of Colombo 2 as per annual tradition. Spanning a period of 2 days, the event makes for a magnificent sight to see for devotees and individuals of all ages.
Harking back to 1979, ‘Navam Perahera’ tells a tale of timeless traditions and cultures deeply embedded in Sri Lankan history. The event is primarily held in veneration of the Triple Gem (the ‘Three Jewels’ which are Lord Buddha, the ‘Dharma’ which are the teachings of Lord Buddha and the ‘Sangha’, the Buddhist monastic order which practices Lord Buddha’s teachings). An endeavour by the ‘Podi Hamuduruwo’ (priest) of the ‘Gangaramaya Temple’ to revive the traditions and culture of the island’s rich heritage, ‘Navam Perahera’ brings together individuals from all castes and creed, irrespective of race or religion in an additional bid to foster harmony.