Every February, Colombo's streets are filled with drummers, dancers, plate throwers – and scores of elephants. Celebrating the full moon, Poya Day, also known as Navam Perahera Festival, is one of Sri Lanka's most celebrated festivals.
The annual tradition sees elephants brought to the capital from temples and villages across the country. Some stand calmly, chained to their vehicles or tree trunks, but many still show apparent signs of captive trauma, including repetitive movements and weaving.
As evening starts to fall, the festival preparations begin. Bejewelled, glinting, embroidered costumes robe the animals, with custom headdresses covering their faces and ears, leaving just their eyes visible through the masks. The star attractions are ready to walk the streets.