At the end of the harvest season, as the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, the long-awaited “New Year or Puthandu” year in Sri Lanka is celebrated in many homes, mainly by Buddhists and Hindus. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a popular cultural festival that brings together all Sri Lankans from all over the world, with the pleasant call of Koha (Asian Koil) for a variety of celebrations and traditions throughout the month of April.
This wonderful festival is celebrated by the Sinhala Buddhists and Hindus living in our country on the 13th or 14th of April. The beginning of the coming year of Catholicism begins on the first day of January. It is the New Year, and in the past it was called the Christian year, but today it is called the practical year. But the Sinhala Hindu New Year that we celebrate is of importance to a limited number of people in the world and is known as the Saka Year.
This year the Sinhala and Tamil New Year falls on April 13 at 8.23 pm according to the New Year customs. From a list of customs to delicious mouth-watering sweets and fun activities, this year offers an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to offer their gratitude and celebrate as one family.
The time interval between the end of the old year and the dawn of the new year is called “nonagathe”. According to Sinhala beliefs, this time is used to hold and associate with religious festivals. People can be seen walking to their temples dressed in white, which is always a pleasant sight. Buddhists are also encouraged to refrain from their daily activities and seek blessings from their priests and monks.
Getting ready for the new year
From time immemorial, the people of this country have been preparing for the festive reception of the New Year Prince since many days ago. Residents who work hard throughout the year to store the harvest and repaint the house with new colors, color the country and the countryside by providing the necessary items for the New Year, such as confectionery, pots and pans in advance. This is how prepares the small hut to the Great House to welcome the New Year.
Welcoming the New Year
The New Year dawns on us as the Sun transitions from Pisces to Aries. At this moment, the whole family happily explains one thing, fills their minds with new feelings, pours milk into a fresh pot, takes the foremost fruit of the harvest, uses the milk to make a delicious milk rice, offers all the other sweets to the Buddha and receives blessings. But at the same time the New Year’s table is ready, which will excite everyone’s taste buds. The head of the household then sets the dining table first, feeds the others in the house and blesses the work from now on. Then the children get together and take betel leaves and worship the parents. The exchange of confectionery-filled food trays with the residents takes place even after that. Get rid of old grudges and engage in new conversations with neighbors. Transactions also play a major role in New Year’s customs.
In the past, women would put pieces of charcoal to purify the well and fill it with fresh water to thank the well that supplies water for lifetime. The male party also deals with money with others, and the young children rejoice in the gifts they receive. Work is also one of the most important New Year customs. Planting a tree is a common practice and school children are involved in their education. Playing games is also a major feature among young and old alike.
In the meantime, going out and visiting parents and elders is a major New Year’s tradition. Parents and elders worship, exchange gifts, renew old bonds, have fun and have fun, and the true meaning of the new year blossoms. However, due to the problem that has arisen in the country this year, we will unfortunately miss the benefits of this year’s customs and traditions. But for those of us who celebrate the New Year, the true meaning of the New Year, the virtues of happiness, support, coexistence, sharing, etc., the catastrophe caused by this corona epidemic can be seen as the perfect opportunity to bend over backwards. Happy New Year full of humanity and friendliness!