The Kandy Esala Perahera also called The Festival of the Tooth is one of the greatest Buddhist holidays in the country, 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, including the fire-dances and the whip-dances, and food of course. Typically for Esala celebrations, the festival ends with a water-cutting ceremony (also called 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. Therefore people often collect this water at a spot, or sprinkle themselves with this sacred water.