The Kandy Esala Perahera, also known as the Festival of the Tooth, is one of the greatest Buddhist holidays in the country and is celebrated with elegant costumes. A historical procession to pay respect to the Sacred Tooth Relic is held annually in July or August on the Full Moon Poya Day according to the Hindu calendar. The festival is all about decorated elephants, traditional dances such as the fire-dances and the whip-dances, and food of course. The Esala celebrations typically end with a water-cutting ceremony (also called the diya-kepeema ritual), where people literary cut the water to pray for good harvests.
Locals believe that the water collected at the diya kaepima is sacred and able to remove evil. They will often collect this water at one spot or sprinkle themselves with it.