Navam perahera, also known as Colombo perahera, is conducted annually on the full moon day of the month of February. Hunupitiya Gangarama temple has been organizing it since 1979. It is an occasion to watch and enjoy Sri Lankan traditional dancing in one place.
You can see a multitude of participants perfuming together to make it a wonderful procession.
Wipe crackers in the Navam perahera lead the procession serving several purposes. They clear the way for the rest of the pageant by restricting onlookers to pavement, and also they signal the arrival of the main body of the procession.
Torch bearers carry traditional lamps illuminating roads and making the procession colorful. They use dried coconut to burn fire.
Elegantly decorated elephant provide magnificent appearance to Gangarama procession. About 100 elephants, with colorfully decorated body, forehead and ears, walk gracefully in the Navam perahera. The temple Tusker that carries the relic casket on its back gets special attention of the crowd.
Dancing teams representing different dancing style perform in the Navam perahera. Sri Lanka has three dancing styles: Kandy dance, low country dance and Sabaragamu dance. All of them perform in Navam perahera displaying their traditional dancing styles and unique costumes.
Drummers who play various kinds of drums such as Gatabera, Mangul Bera, Yak Bera, Udakkki, Pantheru and Raban provide music for dancers. They produce melodious sounds in harmony with the dance.
Navam perahera is a showcase of Sri Lankan culture and traditional dancing. During your next visit to Sri Lanka, watch this colorful pageant that illuminates the street of Colombo.