January- Duruthu Perehara

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The Duruthu Perahera is a grand temple procession held to commemorate Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka about 2500 years ago. It is held every year during the month of Duruthu (January) before the full moon, at the Kelaniya temple in Colombo and is commonly known as the Kelani Perahera. The Perahera includes striking fire dancers, singers, musicians, acrobats, devotees, majestic elephants and other traditional perahera dances. It is spread out over 3 days, with the first day being the most formal and the third day being the most colorful. The Kelani Temple (Kelaniya Raj Maha Viharaya) was built by King Yala-tissa in the 3rd century BC for the purpose of commemorating Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka in his ninth month of enlightenment with 500 other Arahants. Throughout history, the temple has been destroyed, rebuilt and restored many times, most recently in 1888. The Perahera is sponsored by the Government and other devotees.