What is Thunpath Rataa

A collective effort by a group of art lovers to conserve Sri Lankan classical dance, namely Kandian, low country and Sabaragamu as well as folk dance and folk music that compose a great part of the Sri Lankan culture, for our future generations.

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Mangalam Jayasiri Mangalam…..!

Sunday, December 27, 2009 7 comments


          As it says in the description above, we Sri Lankans are lucky to be blessed with a proud culture which doesn’t come second to any other. Among many forms of art, traditional dance and folk music are at the spotlight.

Traditional dance can be mainly categorized into 3 sectors; Kandian, low country and Sabaragamu. All three traditions are equipped with ‘wannam’, ritual dances, eulogies and blessings.

During feudal era the society was divided, for easy administration, according to the work people did for their living. Folk dance and music were born in the heart of above mentioned societies for them to keep the group or clan mentality and as a way of entertainment during relaxing moments. They reflect the glorious history and fill the hearts of art lovers with contentment of our ancestors’ life filled with art.

As mentioned in the introduction of the blog, it is a tragedy that the roots of our traditional art are shaking due to the effects of the development of information technology and industrialization. We decided to start this blog, which is an effort to protect our traditional forms of art, with “Mangalam”, a blessing dance of kandian tradition as a blessing for the blog as well.

I have heard that many activities related to Kandian dance are started with “mangalam” dance. I assume that the first dance of the Kandian dancer after his “wes ceremony” should be the “mangalam” dance (may readers confirm my assumption). Furthermore “kap ceremony”, the starting point of the “perahera ceremony” and the other auspicious occasions start with “mangalam” dance I assume.


Time allocated for the dance item will decide whether the whole or a part of the song is used for the dance.

In the video posted below the dancers are using two verses of the Mangalam dance.

As we are not professional dancers but only art lovers, it is possible that there are mistakes or omissions in this post. We sincerely hope that our dear readers will enlighten us if they come across any.

Written by :

  • Subhash & Nadeesha.

Acknowledgement :

  • Ms. Nisansala Rajapakse.
  • Professional dancer and teacher Mr. Peter Surasena (Awarded as the best dancer in Kandy Perahara)

Translated by:

  • Tharindu .R. Magallagoda.