Esala Perahera (the festival of the tooth) is the grand festival of Esala held in Sri Lanka. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and nicely decorated elephants. There are fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances. The elephants are usually adorned with lavish garments. The festival ends with the traditional ‘diya-kepeema’.
History – The Esala believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected “Peraheras” (Processions) – The Esala and Dalada. The Esala Perahera which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, was a ritual enacted to request the gods for rainfall. The Dalada Perahera is believed to have begun when the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka from India during the 4th century B.C.
According to tradition, the Tooth Relic was taken in procession to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala & Prince Dantha.
Source from Wikipedia