The Kandyan Cultural Show, Devil dance

The Kandyan Cultural Show

The Kandyan Cultural Show

Kandy (14 best places to visit in Kandy) is the most visited city in the central triangle of Sri Lanka. Kandy has a unique and fascinating blend of culture, history, customs and tradition of Sinhalese people. There are many places in Kandy with cultural and historical value. Kandy is the home for the most valuable object of Sri Lankan Buddhists, the left eye tooth of Buddha. The left eye tooth of Buddha believed to be resting in the tooth relic temple of Kandy.

Esala ceremony is undoubtedly the most important and colourful cultural event in Kandy that evolved around the tooth relic. But it can be witnessed only once every year in the month of July/August. So if you plan your Sri Lanka tour in the month of August, find out when this gorgeous pageant takes place.

Kandyan cultural show is also a similar event, though it is not in grandeur scale-like Esala ceremony. Kandyan cultural show is the best alternative to experience the typical music and dancing performed in the Esala ceremony for people who are not able to show up in Kandy, during the Kandyan Esala ceremony.

Kandy esala ceremony, Festivals of Sri Lanka
Eala ceremony is the most beautiful and important cultural event in Kandy and attracts a large number of tourists to the city

Dancing and music performed at the Kandyan cultural show have a lot of similarities to music and dances performed at the Esala ceremony. Unlike Esala ceremony, which lasts only many hours at night, Kandyan cultural show lasts only about 1 hour.

There are several places (auditoriums) in Kandy, where the cultural show is organized. All of the places are within the easy reach of Kandy city. A large number of people is gathered to witness the cultural show and many foreigners are also visit the event. All these places are just walking distance away from the tooth relic temple.

The followings are the proceedings of the Kandyan cultural show.

Magul Bera (Ceremonial Drum) the beginning of Kandyan cultural show

The blowing of the conch shell is the traditional invocation at the commencement of any function and the drums are an integral part of the ritual. According to the customs of Sinhalese usually, the performance of ritual music is done in order to invoke the blessings of deities.

Puja Netuma

Beautifully dressed girls carrying oil lamps are making an offering to the God. Puja natuma is usually participated by several dancers and they move their hands and foot rhythmically, according to the background music.


Raban is a type of drum that used very often in the traditional folk dance. The drum being used here is called Ath rabana or hand Rabana and it is about one foot in diameter. Men and women are both played and welded in a variety of forms in the dance. Raban playing is accompanied by music and singing too.

Mayura Netuma

Mayura Natuma or peacock dance a group of girls depict the graceful movement of the peacock. Peacock is the official transporter of God Kataragama, the war God of Sri Lanka.

Pantheru Natuma

The name of the dance is originated from the musical instrument used, the panther, which has some similarities to Tambourine. Pantheru is accompanied by drums. The dancers depict the Sinhalese warriors on their way to the battle. Only the highly skilled dancers can perform the Panthers perfectly and it required a great deal of dedication and practice to be a successful pantheru dancer.

Gini Sisila

The type of fire dancing is unique to southern Sri Lanka.

Ves Natuma

One of the popular dances on the island and popular in the low-country as well as in the up-country. Unlike in the low-country dancing, this is an important form of dance in the Kandyan dancing and the dress of Ves natuma is the traditional attire of Kandyan dancer. The dress of Ves natuma is comprised of 64 ornaments.  It takes many years of rigorous training before one qualifies to wear the traditional dancing costume.