The Sri Lankan birdwing is one of the largest butterflies of Sri Lanka. Like most other Troides birdwings, the male is adorned with bright golden-yellow markings on the hindwings, which contrast starkly with the velvety black forewings and interjecting black veins. The female is larger than the male, and has a different arrangement of yellow markings on the hindwing, and pale stripes on the forewing.
The grizzled giant squirrel is classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The handsome cocks of this endemic species, the national bird of Sri Lanka, are remarkably similar to those of domestic chickens. The longish plumage on the breast and upper parts is mainly a rich, fiery yellow to coppery orange with golden streaks, while the abdomen, flanks and bushy tail are a dark metallic purplish-black. The bare facial skin and two lappets hanging from the throat are red, and a fleshy red crest (comb) with central yellow patch adorns the crown.
Date of Release: 24 May 2018-09-26
State Vesak Festival – 2018
The Bingri Rajamaha Vihara where the 2562 State Vesak Festival will be held is situated spread over an area of about one thousand acres in the Bingiriya Divisional Secretariat Division in the Kurunegala District of the North-western Province.Ancient legends have it that the stupa of the temple was built during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa. This temple was renovated during the time of king Parakramabahu also and there is evidence that king Agbo I extended royal patronage from time to time towards the construction works of the Bingiriya Rajamaha Viharaya.
The image house of this Vihara Maligava which has been identified as the largest one of its kind in Sri Lanka at present is being used as the uposathaghara for the vinaya rituals of the sangha. The great wall encircling the temple compound, the four gateways (vahalkada) and the renovated pohoyage reflect the ancient grandeur of this temple.
Traditional Sinhalese Exorcism Ritual
There are three local traditions of the Sanni dancing ritual as Bentara, Matara and Raigama. Although the Raigama school of dancing is similar to that of Bentara school it is performed similar to the Gam Madu ritual in terms of the style of dance, decorated costumes and dialogues used. In the Matara tradition ritualistic performances are done in a style of dance with use of dialogues which are unique to that tradition.Following is the ritualistic pattern observed in the Daha-ata Sanniya or Sanni Dance of the Bentara tradition:
- Summoning of the aturayaor the sick man to the bower (pandala)
- Beating of auspicious drums (magulbera)
- Inviting gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini to the flower bed.
- Reciting dishti mantra and raising of the curtain
- Rituals of the evening time and placing of atamagala(eight auspicious objects) items at the foot of the sick man
- Dancing of pandampada of the evening ritual
- Ushering of KaluYaka
- Ushering of KaluRiriYaka
- Ushering of the three apparitions of Suniyamyakkhini
- Ushering of AbhimanaYaka
- Peduruupatha, death ritual and the entry of Maruva
- Dancing of dekonavilakkusamayama (ritual dance with torch burning at both ends)
- Dedication of Kapalapideni (oblation)
- Kumara procession or Licchavi dance
- Pali dance
- Daha-ataSanni dance
- Offering of blessings
- Transfer of merits to gods and beating of merit drums (pin bera)
Date of Release:8 August 2018-09-26