Attending a Perahera in Sri Lanka can be a magical experience, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, following these guidelines can help you make the most of your experience without any unpleasant surprises.
1. Dress Appropriately
One of the most important things to keep in mind when attending a Perahera is to dress appropriately. The event is a religious festival, so it’s important to dress modestly out of respect for the culture and tradition. You should avoid wearing shorts, tank tops, and other revealing clothing. Instead, opt for long pants or skirts, and shirts with sleeves that cover your shoulders.
2. Bring Water and Snacks
Perahera can last for hours, so it’s important to bring water and snacks to keep you hydrated and nourished. You can bring a small backpack or bag to carry your supplies, but make sure it’s not too bulky or cumbersome as you’ll be moving around a lot. Also, be mindful of littering and dispose of your trash in the appropriate bins.
3. Wear Comfortable Shoes
The Perahera involves a lot of walking, so it’s essential to wear comfortable shoes that won’t cause blisters or sore feet. Sandals or flip-flops may seem like a good idea, but they can be uncomfortable and offer little protection from the crowds. Instead, opt for closed-toe shoes with good support that will keep your feet happy throughout the event.
4. Arrive Early
Perahera is a popular event, and the crowds can be overwhelming. To avoid getting caught up in the rush, it’s best to arrive early and secure a good spot to watch the procession. You can also take this time to explore the area and get a sense of the festival’s history and significance.
5. Be Mindful of Pickpockets
Crowded events like Perahera are a magnet for pickpockets, so it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and keep your valuables secure. Keep your wallet, phone, and other valuables in a secure place, like a money belt or a zipped-up pocket. Avoid flashing your cash or valuables in public, as this can attract unwanted attention.
6. Respect the Elephants
The Perahera involves a procession of decorated elephants, which are revered in Sri Lankan culture. It’s important to show respect to these majestic animals and avoid any behavior that could be seen as aggressive or disrespectful. Don’t try to touch the elephants or get too close to them, as this can be dangerous and stressful for the animals.
7. Follow the Rules
During the Perahera, there will be many rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees. It’s important to follow these rules and respect the authority of the event organizers and security personnel. This includes following designated walking routes, avoiding restricted areas, and refraining from disruptive behavior.
In conclusion, attending a Perahera in Sri Lanka can be an unforgettable experience, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety and enjoyment. By dressing appropriately, bringing water and snacks, wearing comfortable shoes, arriving early, being mindful of pickpockets, respecting the elephants, and following the rules, you can make the most of this magical event without any unpleasant surprises.