Among the Hindu festivals of Sri Lanka the Kataragama festival is looked upon with great veneration. The annual festival commences on the new moon of Ādi (July-August) and lasts a fortnight. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Veddas gather there in thousands either to fulfill their vows or to seek knowledge and guidance from Lord of Kataragama.

The festival highlight is the perahera or procession takes place at night from 7 p. m. to 10 pm. Long before the appointed hour the premises are full with devotees carrying on their heads earthen vessels containing holy ash and burning camphor. Besides, there are the thundering of drums and the playing of flutes.



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