Every year the sri Lankan city of Kandy turns on one of the most spectacular pageants in the east - a pageant dating back to Sri lanka's Singalese Kings and held to commemorate the bringing of a tooth of the prophet, Buddha, from India the island's former hill capital.
SV Raja the elephant out of temple
GV & LV Crowds watch elephants in procession (2 shots)
CU Men with flags in procession
SCU Chief administrator of the temple on elephant
SV & LV Crowd watch as drummers march in procession
LV & CU Raja carrying tooth relic of Buddha (2 shots)
CU Chief in traditional Kandy costume
LV (previous night) Crowds formed up with torches
LV & CU Raja wearing illuminations and carrying the sacred??? tooth emerges from temple (2 shots)
LV & CU Raja and other illuminated elephants in torchlit procession with drummers and dancers (7 shots)
Initials CL/2216 1730/1835/2232
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Background: Every year the sri Lankan city of Kandy turns on one of the most spectacular pageants in the east - a pageant dating back to Sri lanka's Singalese Kings and held to commemorate the bringing of a tooth of the prophet, Buddha, from India the island's former hill capital.
This year's pageant was held last Saturday and sunday (23 and 24 August) and attracted thousands of devoted Buddhists and tourists who flocked to kandy to join in the celebrations.
The mood generated by the Perahera, as the islanders call it, was infectious and created a heady mixtures of smells and sounds that lasted throughout. The procession started from the Dalada Miligawa the Temple of the Tooth - from where the chief elephant, this year, Raja, carried the sacred tooth of the prophet in a golden casket mounted on his back. Another seventy-eight elephants garbed in colourful raiment escorted Raja and his precious cargo.
Surrounded by chieftains wearing their ceremonial robes and mounted on elephants came the chief administrator of the temple in his formal Kandyan dress and from every side throbbed the exciting rhythms drummed out by the native musicians. During the procession the head man read out the Ola Leaf document proclaiming the holding of the festival and the significance of the event.
For two days the city turned on a spectacle to remember - and next year thousands will return to join in once again.
SYNOPSIS: The Dalada Maligawa - the temple of the tooth - starting point for the annual perahera festival held in the ancient Sri Lankan city of kandy last weekend. Led by Raja, the chief elephant, who carried the tooth of the prophet Buddha in a golden casket on his back, the festival is held to celebrate the bringing of the relic form India to kandy hundreds of years ago.
Garbed in his traditional robes and flanked by high ranking chiefs the chief administrator of the temple ceremoniously carries the ancient Ola Leaf scroll that proclaims the holding of the celebrations. Every year thousands of devoted buddhists as well as tourists flock to kandy to drink in the excitement and sounds of the celebrations.
The spectacular events of the daytime programme are surpassed only by those at night when the elephants add illuminated lights their brilliant trappings and the frenzied dancers and drummers w???irl in the torchlight infecting everyone with the mystic beat of their ancient songs.