Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year.
This festival is celebrated in the month of April and at this time the sun is directly above the island. The Erabadu trees Erythrina variegatea are in full bloom during this period and everyone hopes for continued peace and prosperity.
Midnightbut at a time specified according to astrological calculations. Furthermore the duration of time between the end of the old year and beginning of the new one is sometimes as long as 12 hours and 48 minutes. This is when the sun begins to cross the astrological border of Meena Rashiya and Mesha Rashiya, ending when the crossing is complete.
When the sun crosses the point midway between these two, it signifies the dawn of the New Year. This period of transition is considered a neutral period Nonagathe and as tradition dictates material pursuits are avoided and emphasis is on religious activities or traditional games.
Preparing the Avurudu Meals Preparations for this great festival begins weeks in advance when families clean and paint their homes, buy new clothes and gifts for family members. Traditional sweetmeats such as Kavum small oil cakesKokis a crisp, crunchy sweetmeatAluwa diamond shaped sweets made of rice flourmung kavum and many others are also prepared in advance and stored in readiness for the great day.
The auspicious times for lighting the hearth and boiling a pot of milk are announced by thousands of firecrackers. Families gather around the fire to watch the milk boil over as it is considered a symbol of good luck.
Kiribath milk-rice is prepared and the family partakes of a meal which also includes the previously prepared sweetmeats and fruits bananas.
The first business transaction of the New Year too is carried out at a specified time. Avurudu Rituals, Music and games Presenting elders with a sheaf of Betel leaves and paying homage is a custom practiced on all important occasions in Sri Lanka, New Year included.
Gifts are also exchanged and the rest of the day is spent visiting relatives and engaging in New Year games with members of the community.
In Sri Lanka, many born and bred in the beautiful villages all over the island leave their homes in order to find work in big cities. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a time for everyone to return home and celebrate with family.
After the festivities are over, people leave for work at an auspicious time, usually a few days after the main festival day. In between the day of festivities and leaving for work, a special ceremony of anointing the people with herbal oil is performed in the village Temple.
The chief prelate anoints each member of the community with specially prepared medicinal oil that is believed to contain healing powers that will bestow the individual with a healthy start to the New Year. However even the present day urbasisation has not succeeded in obliterating the festivities, and families living in towns too, adhere to many of the customs, especially the Nonagathe, lighting of the hearth and boiling milk, enjoying the first meal together and engaging in transactions.
Most hotels and guest houses across the island conduct New Year festivities complete with all the delicious food, for the benefit of their patrons, giving them the chance to enjoy this lovely experience.
Tourslanka offers you packages to any part of the island with the best of accommodation.The Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka is a celebration of the end of harvesting season.
The festival is held in April. Read More.
Bak Poya in Sri Lanka. Month: April Ramadan - 'Eid-ul-Fitr' is the “festival of breaking the fast” celebrated by Muslims the world over, bringing to an end the Islamic holy month of fasting. Festival of New beginnings: Sri Lankan New Year.
Swarna Wickremeratne. Author of: Buddha in Sri Lanka: Remembered Yesterdays. According to traditional astrological belief, .
Apr 04, · Nanda Wanninayaka on Beauty of Sri Lanka, tharangasampath on Sinhala and Tamil New Year Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival Posted: April 4, in Uncategorized.
7. Vesak is a religious and cultural festival in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of May. Vesak Day is one of the biggest days of the year and is . What is Pongal?
Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. Pongal has astronomical significance: it marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the Sun's movement northward for a six month period. In Paul Bowles bought Taprobane island, off the coast of Weligama Bay near Galle, in southern Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).Here Bowles wrote the final chapters of his novel The Spider's House.
(Taprobane island sustained only minor damage from the tsunami disaster that occurred on .