Perahera is an annual highlight of the Buddhist calendar in Sri Lanka. The Bentota Perahera takes place at the end of December and is similar to the celebrations of the Perahera in Kandy, though on a lesser scale. The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ translates to ‘parade’. So, wherever you celebrate this festival, you can look forward to feasting your eyes on a spectacular procession of traditional dancers, singers and musicians.

If you’re planning to attend the Perahera Festival in Bentota, prepare yourself to experience a riot of colour and choreography. In addition to traditional performers, you’ll see elephants, torch-bearers, fire jugglers and tom-tom beaters. The captivating parade tends to take place late in the evening, typically between 11 pm and 1 am.

The parade usually begins at the Galapatha Temple and progresses along the Galle Road towards Colombo. After 3-4km, the parade turns around and makes its way back towards the temple. Grab your spot along the Galle Road for the best views.