Janaraja Perahera

Janaraja Perahera (Sinhala: ජනරජ පෙරහැර) is a special procession that is organized by the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy at the request of the Sri Lankan government on significant occasions in the country.

The procession was first held in 1875 to celebrate the arrival of Albert Edward (1841-1910), the Duke of Wales and the son of Queen Victoria, to Ceylon. The second procession was also held in 1954 when Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022), the then-Head of State of Ceylon, visited the country. The Queen is said to have watched the procession from the Patthirippuwa of the temple. In 1981, a similar procession was held, and Queen Elizabeth II watched the procession from a special platform built on the Maha Maluwa, the main courtyard. The fourth procession was held in 1987 by the then Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa.

At the request of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the fifth procession was organized on 19 February 2023 to coincide with Sri Lanka’s 75th independence anniversary.

The procession comprises cultural features such as dance performances and caparisoned elephants, which made it similar to the Esala Perahara which is held in August every year. However, unlike the Esala Perahara, the "Karanduwa" (the casket containing the sacred relics of Buddha) is not carried on the back of a tusker but instead, the National Emblem of Sri Lanka is escorted.

This page was last updated on 6 March 2023

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