2018-04-17 77 People
The Sinhalese and Tamil new year, better known as the "Aluth Awurudda" in which takes place in April is a Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional new year of the Sinhala and Tamil people of the island .
The month of April is the backdrop to this festival as it occasions the movement of the sun from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries, thereby marking the end of the harvest season and also coinciding with one of two instances when the sun is right above Sri Lanka. This traditional festival is significant for the farming community as well as it coincides with one of the country's paddy harvest seasons.
Unlike the Gregorian calendars 31st night celebrations, this traditional New Year begins at a time determined by astrological calculations. Traditionally, people are encouraged to refrain from material pursuits and engage in religious activities during the period between the ending of the old year and the beginning of the New Year, which is several hours apart.
The festival is never complete without a variety of customs and rituals, therefore at the dawn of the New Year they all begin! Cleaning the house, lighting an oil lamp, entering into the first business transaction and having a traditional Sinhalese breakfast with Kiri bath (milk rice), lunu miris (spicy onion paste), kavum (small oil cake), Kokis (crisps) and so on marks the start to the train of rituals that follow throughout the day according to each auspicious time as determined by astrological calculations.
Once the customs and rituals are done the informal fun starts with families visiting their loved ones and engaging in the various festive games, both indoor and outdoor.
However, the playing of the drums, noise of fire crackers and the sound of the "Koha" bird resonates the true sound of traditional New Year and is a pleasant, nostalgia inducing song to every Sri Lankan regardless of race or religion. The significance of all these games is that everyone regardless of age or whatnot, engage in them and come together as one to enjoy and experience all that fun and Blessings that the new Year brings with it.
Sri Lankans are known for their hospitality and friendly nature; therefore, anyone is warmly welcomed with a plate of milk rice and other awrudu sweets. So, if you happen to be in the island during this time, do hop in where you see an awrudu celebration, experience the traditional food and definitely have fun with the awrudu games!