Welcoming The Sinhala And Tamil New Year (avurudu)
Avurudu aka Sinhala and Tamil New Year, is one of the most significant festivals in Sri Lanka that is celebrated with much pomp. The Aluth Avurudu is usually celebrated on the 14th April of each year with the transition of the Sun from Pisces to the house of Aries. The Sinhalese and Tamil community usually prepares for the upcoming New Year by painting or cleaning their homes, shopping for new clothes and making new year sweetmeats.
The Aluth Avurudda will dawn at 1.47pm on the 14th of April this year.
Auspicious times for the New Year
Punya Kalaya – 7.23 AM to 8.11 PM
When the Sun transitions from Meena, people take the final bath before the new year and halt all business-related matters as the exit of Meena is considered as an inauspicious time or known as ‘punya kalaya’ or ‘nonagathaya’ in Sinhalese. People are usually involved in religious and spiritual activities such as visiting temples.
Lighting of the hearth and cooking of the first meal – 2.05 PM
Usually performed by the lady of the household facing the designated direction. The lady will worship the new pot three times, light the hearth and prepare the new year dish, Kiribath (Milk Rice) or simply boil some milk to signify the prosperity. Every family member will gather around to witness the milk bubbling from the pot. Colombo Court Hotel & Spa, one of the Luxury Hotels in Colombo will perform the boiling of milk on the 14th April at 2.05 PM.
Transactions and partaking of the first meal – 2.42 PM
After having meals, the younger shows their respect to the elders by offering betel sheaves and in return the elders would bless them and give them some money. The first financial transaction in the New Year is called (ganu denu) – give and take.
Anointment of oil – 9.06 AM on the 15th April
Anointing of holy oil is performed at the homes or at a temple. During this ritual, the individuals are blessed from head to toe and it is believed that this oil purifies their minds as well as the body.
The fun begins after this – where the celebrations move out on to the streets with fun filled activities and various games.