All About Sinhala & Tamil New Year

All About Sinhala & Tamil New Year

Traditionally celebrated by Sri Lankans , the New Year has now been integrated to numerous households in the country as it brings people and families together. The festival is celebrated with a series of traditions, food, and fun games that take place over a week, and involve the entire community.

The ‘Avurudu table’ is a colourful, decorative affair consisting of traditional Sri Lankan treats such as kavum, mun kavum, kokis, asmee, peni walalu, athirasa, etc. As the new year dawns, families gather around a clay pot with milk and watch it boil over; which signifies prosperity and happiness for the entire family. Milk rice is the next traditional item to be cooked. In Hindu households, sweet rice is made with red raw rice, jaggery, ghee, plums and cashew nuts.

The festival is celebrated with a range of traditional games involving the entire community, such as kotta pora, kana mutti, sack races, kabaddi to name a few. Children and adults from the village gather to take part in games. Offices and schools even partake in the Avurudu ceremonies.

During the period leading up to the new year, the call of the Koha echoes through the village. Also known as the Cuckoo-bird, the Koha’s song marks the beginning of the new year and its festivities.

From lucky colors to auspicious times, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is deeply rooted in traditions. The ganu denu tradition takes place with children offering betel leaves to worship parents and in exchange getting some cash. The applying of oil by the chief monk is another significant avurudu event.

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