Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Katharagama Esala Festival - 2012

At the Kataragama Shrine in the Deep South honours the God Katharagama worshipped by Budhists and Hindus with equal fervor and devotion. During the two-week festival, thousands of Hindu devotees bear chariots; pierce their flesh with hooks, s and commit acts of penitence mostly to hounor vows beseeching the benevolence of the God Skandha.

The devotional rituals conducted in a frenzied air of urgency reaches its end with h the “water-cutting” ceremony. A holy casket is dipped in the Manica Ganga the sacred river. Accompanying this ritual in the river are the thousands of pilgrims who submerge themselves – with their arms raised and crying “Haro Hara” in obeisance to the God of many names – God Skandha, Lord Murugan and God Katharagama.

At around 4 am after the river ablutions are concluded, the square in front of the main temple is cleared and carefully covered with burning Tamarind fire wood. Ccleansed pilgrims slowly make their way, barefoot, across the burning embers. The piety and devotion protects the soles of their feet. The souls relived.

2012 Esala Festival Dates 

Flag-hoisting 19 July 
Maha Perahera 1 August 
Water Cutting 2 August

Kataragama Dewalaya

Kataragama God

Kataragama Kiriwehera Dagoba


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