Many nations throughout the globe commemorate the beginning of the new year on the first of January. However, there are numerous calendars across the globe that celebrate different days to usher in the New Year, depending on where you live. In Sri Lanka, the festivities of the new year begin on the 13th of April and conclude on the 14th of the same month.
With a flurry of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, as well as a delectable assortment of traditional sweets, Sri Lankans celebrate the beginning of the new year in April, according to the sun’s migration from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pieces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries).
Rituals for the New Year in Sri Lanka and the customs that distinguish the Sinhala and Tamil New Year are what make them remarkable and unforgettable. New year ceremonies begin on the 13th with a ceremony known as the neutral time, or Nonagathe, which signifies a period of transition between the old and new years. During this period, individuals refrain from doing any job and instead devote their time to religious activities in order to get the blessing of their faith and prepare for the new year.
Putting the fire in the hearth
When the new year begins, the first ritual performed by Sri Lankans is the lighting of the hearth of the home in preparation for the preparation of milk rice, which is a must-have traditional meal served at the new year’s feast and represents wealth.
The first meal at the Avurudu table (Ahara anubawaya)
In Sri Lanka, the celebration of the new year is mostly centered on traditional festive food. Having a large table filled with Kiribath, bananas, and traditional sweets like as kokis, thalaguli, aggala, aluwa, and many more varieties of traditional sweets becomes the focal point of any home. Following the burning of an oil lamp, every family in Sri Lanka gathers to celebrate the feast at an auspicious time of day. Start of work and exchange of money (Weda alleema ganu denu kireema): After the family has finished their new year feast, they perform some work as a way of symbolizing the beginning of their working lives in the new year.
Sweets for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year
It is impossible to talk about the Sinhala and Tamil New Year without bringing up the subject of food. Because of this, sampling new year’s sweets is an absolute must-do activity during your April vacation in Sri Lanka. The following are some of the delicacies that you should taste throughout the holiday season. Kiri Bath (coconut trickling with rice) is a tradition.
Konda Keum is a fluffy cake that is deep-fried. Kokis is a deep-fried, crunchy sweet made from rice flour and coconut milk. Asmi A crunchy classic sweet covered with traditional caramel syrup, this treat is sure to please. Mung kewum is a diamond-shaped dessert that has a crispy crust on the outside and a sweet paste of sweetened green grams in the middle within.
Games for the New Year’s Festival
During this time of year, the whole community comes together to plan festivities that include a variety of traditional games to commemorate the season, and both youngsters and seniors take pleasure in participating in these activities.
Some of the new year games that are played during new year festivities include the following: Keeping one’s gaze fixed on the elephant- (Aliyata asa thabeema) Buns are being consumed (Banis kema) Pillow-fighting is a popular pastime (Kotta Pora) Tug-of-War is a game where people on either side pull the rope to the teams advantage (Kamba Adeema) Hitting pot blindfolded — (Kanamutti bindeema) Going up an oiled pole – (Lissana gaha nageema).