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Anuradhapura: The Adistanah Puja

the Adistanah Puja (my spelling), virtually unknown to western tourists, takes place each year at the Ruwanwelisaya and Thuperama stupas, around a weekend on the August Poya day. The festival begins at 2pm on the Saturday, and finishes at 6am on the Sunday, so if you are staying for the night, bring a blanket to lie on. The At l;east 300,000 pilgrims attend, and it involves 4 processions (or pera heras) from Thuperama to the Ruwanwelisaya, and the presentation of beautiful offerings to Buddah, including flowers, as well as milk rice, which is cooked all night in a special enclosure. The processions begin ('Sri Lankan time') at 14:30, 15:30, 19:00, 21:00, and 03:00. This really is a 'must see event', being quite unique in style and atmosphere.

Earlier Event: July 29
Kandy: Esala Perahera
Later Event: December 1
Leopard Safari at Wilpattu