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Sinhala – Tamil New Year Season of Sri Lanka

The month of April is a special month for Sri Lankans called “BakMaha.” All the Sinhala Tamil (Hindu) people have celebrated the New Year since time immemorial. The astrologers worked out Nekath (auspicious times) to perform the New Year’s rituals in order to bring prosperity and happiness to both the people and the country. Sinhala/Tamil Avurudda begins when the Sun moves from MeenaRashiya(House of Pisces) to MeshaRashiya(House of Aries), therein completing a twelve-month cycle. This transition time, known as “Sanskranthi,” takes place on April 13 or 14;it is during this time that some rituals are performed to mark this important event of the year. The two days of April 13th and 14th are filled with lots of traditional events. According to astrology, the 13this the day for no work.This time is called “Nonagathe” (the neutral period), during which people are devoted to performing religious practices. This is when people stop all of their activities and visit the Buddhist or Hindu temple to accrue merit and get their blessings; it is also called “Punniya Kale.” Rituals connected with Aluth Avurudda (New Year) begin with bathing on the last day of the old year. The 14this a good day, and there are certain times to start cooking milk rice, eating with family members and giving treats to friends and neighbors. Lots of villagers celebrate this day with certain games played only at New Year. On the 16th there is an event called “Hisa Tel Gema,” meaning“Applying Oil.” On this day, you apply oil to your head for good health in the new year. The 18this the day to either start work or go back to work. Tamil celebrations are similar to Sinhalese celebrations,but there are some differences; for example, Sinhalese go to the Buddhist temple and Tamils go to the Hindu temple. The best thing at the New Year is t hat people give forgiveness to their loved ones and neighbors. When somebody goes to a home during the New Year’s Day, everybody is treated well. Our girls also waited to celebrate the New Year, as they know they will get some presents and can eat lots of traditional sweets on that day. Also,some of their family members will come see them and bring gifts.This is such a great day for kids!I know some of the girls will miss their families..This day is very important to our girls, as it is a good chance to talk to each other and to share their smiles and tears.Picture*** A Competition call “Avurudu Kumariya” (The Beauty Queen of the New Year day)

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