Held in the months of July/August, it is a festival that coincides along with the new moon in Esala month, taken place within two months. As many of the pilgrims, the Buddhists and Hindus drag out to witness this festival whereas this is dedicated to the Hindu god of War, Skanda who is said to have six heads, twelve arms, twenty names and two wives as Buddhists worship him as Kataragama Deviyo.
The glamorous union of Skanda and Valli Matha is commemorated annually whereas every night of the festival, a procession, in other words perahera proceeds in which the yantra talisman is borne in a casket to the temple of Valli Matha and left briefly in its inner chamber. On the eventual night, this is left till dawn to symbolize the perfection of the couple’s love. The festival then falls to grandeur, with the brilliantly caparisoned elephants, replete with dancers, drummers, elephant keepers, torchbearers, devil dancers, stilt walkers and so on. The Kataragama Perahera is no more an ordinary festival, for its majesty and beauty will last forever.