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Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2020

A traditional holiday of Aluth Avurudda is equally important for Sinhalese and Tamil people of Sri Lanka

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka 2019 - Best Time
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© Felix Krohn

Sinhala Aluth Avurudu is a joyful festival celebrated by both Sinhalese and Tamil Sri Lankans to ensure a good harvest and to bring prosperity and happiness to the country. The date of the holiday was determined by astrologists. Sinhala Avurudu occurs when the Sun moves from Meena Rashiya to Mesha Rashiya finishing a 12-month cycle. The holiday falls between April 13th and 14th.

Since the majority of the people on these lands were farmers, beginning a new cycle after the major harvest called "Maha" made perfect sense. It is time to celebrate and demonstrate appreciation to gods. Rituals include bathing on the last day of the old year and observing the moon during the last night before the new year begins. In temples, drums beat (Hewisi) can be heard at all times. People flock to temples to receive blessings from the monks. Children offer betel to parents and elders as a sign of gratitude and to receive blessings in return. On this day, you can taste some traditional local pastries.

A plate of Kokis, a traditional dish in Sri Lanka for Sinhalese New Year 2019
A plate of Kokis, a traditional dish in Sri Lanka for Sinhalese New Year

The most interesting and entertaining part of the festival is traditional games and races played on this day by local youth. Street parties, cart races, beauty contests, pole climbing competitions, and much more can be witnessed in Colombo and other big cities of Sri Lanka.

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