© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Deities Hierarchy Ceremonies Sakra Guardians Twelve Deities

Coconut smashing

Pilgrims to temples and shrines often smash coconuts whilst making their request to the Deity. The way it breaks is an indication of the success or otherwise of their suit.

The coconut smashing place at Kataragama faces Kataragama’s main Temple Shrine. Pilgrims hold their coconut in both hands with the burning taper on top and contemplate their suit to Kataragama before smashing it  hard into the enclosure. Then they examine how it has broken to foretell the likely outcome.

Examining the pieces of the smashed coconut.

N.B. the full moon behind.

Pilgrims leaving Kataragama site after they have presented their offerings. The Buddhist pilgrims will have also visited the Buddhist Vihara - see section on Temple Pilgrimages.