02 September 2020
Saparagamu Maha Saman Devalaya Esala Perahara
Bulletin # 988
Date of Issue: 2020-09-02
Denomination: LKR 15.00
Dimension: 60mm x 30mm
Perforations: 12.25 x 13.75
Sheet Composition: 20
Last Date of Sale: 2024-03-31
Print Color: Four process colours
Print Quantity: 300,000
The Maha Saman Devalaya Esala Perahera originates from the Sabaragamuwa district in Sri Lanka. Its purpose interweaves history, tradition and heritage that are unique to the island. Every year in September, the city of Ratnapura and the Devalaya lights up in festivities as the Maha Saman Devala Perahera parades through the streets while locals and tourists alike flock to see this sacred marvel that has been in practice for centuries. Ancient chronicles indicate that the very first Perahera took root during King Parakramabahu VI’s period.
This is the time to see elephants cloaked in decorated garments and bright lights, acrobats, jugglers, traditional dancers, from various regions; udarata or up country, pahatharata or low country and the Perahera’s very own Sabaragamuwa performers, serenading through their respective steps to the resonance of drumming in harmonious unison, as well as flag bearers, fire-eaters and fire walkers, musicians and singers.
Prior to the festival’s commencement, age-old rituals come to life; the pirith ceremony; kap situveema; the smaller Kumbal and Dewele Peraheras. The Maha Saman Devalaya Esala Perahera concludes with the symbolic water cutting ceremony, and thereafter the Daval Perahera takes place during the day. Auspicious times guide the entire festival and every ceremony contained within it is in tune to a set schedule, as directed by the temple’s chief incumbent.
Maha Saman Devalaya or the Great Saman Temple (also called Sumana Saman Devalaya) is a shrine dedicated to deity Saman, situated at Ratnapura, Sri Lanka who is the presiding deity of the Sri Pada Mountain (Adam’s Peak) which is also called Samanthakuta meaning the mountain of Saman which is believed to have the left foot impression of Lord Buddha which he kept in his visit to Sri Lanka.
Considered as one of the guardian gods of Sri Lanka, Deity Saman is deeply venerated in the region of Rathnapura and related areas in the province of Sabaragamuwa of Sri Lanka, he is recorded to have been a district administrator of the region contemporary to Lord Buddha who he met on the former’s visit to Sri Lanka.
According to the Mahavamsa the chronicle of ancient Sri Lanka, it is mentioned that the Administrator Saman, attained the first level of enlightenment Sotapanna at the end of the sermon of Lord Buddha. After the demise of Saman, the administrator of Deva Clan he has started to be venerated as a God or a deity.