Three other major religious severa-day celebrations take place during the south-western monsoon rainy season, namely the Kataragama festival, the Saman Devale Perahera and the Bellanwila Perahera. In some years some of these festivals coincide.
Kataragama is the name of one of Sri Lanka’s morst significant places of pilgrimages and of the islands's most spectacular festival which is dedicated to a Hindu god. It is celebrated during one fortnight in the month Esala in the south-east of the island. It is world-famous for its firewalks and piercings of tongue or skin. Interestingly, this festival is joined by Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists alike and even by some Muslims. It usually takes place one fortnight or two earlier than the Kandy Perahera.
Maha Saman Devale near Ratnapura is the main shrine of the guadian deity of Siri Pada (Adam’s Peak) and Sabaragamuwa Province. The annual Perahera usually takes place in a little bit later than the Kandy Perahera. The Ratnapura pageant is the second largest on the island and is not much less impressive and spectacular, compared to the more famous Kandy Perahera, though less elephants will be parading. One main feature is an effigy of the giant Maha Baha havong two faces into opposite directions, a smiling and an angry one. The procession takes place in August or September.
Bellanwila is situated in the outskirts of Colombo. The temple is prowd to have one of the first 32 saplings of Anuradhapura’s Sacred Bo Tree. The Bellanwila Esala Maha Perahera is the largest procession in the most densely populated ares of Sri Lanka during monsoon season. It commences on the 24th of August this year, the final Randoli Perahera will be held on 31st of August.
Other festivals during the same south-west monsoon period are, for example, Vishnu Devala Perahera in Devinuwara (Dondra) at the southern tip of the island and Sri Lanka’s longest celebrated festival, the Munneshwaram Perahera. The Esala festival of the historic Sri Devol Maha Devalaya in Seenigama started on the 31st of July with the traditional Kap Situweema ceremony, the Peraheras will be held from September 1 until September 6. Not only Buddhist ceremonies are held during these months, there are many Hindu celebrations in August and September on the Jaffna Peninsula.