Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festival 2011 – A grand cultural extravaganza

The Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festival is a major cultural celebration held annually with much festivity and flair in Sri Lanka. The celebration of the festival, which usually takes place on the 13th or 14th of April, promises to be a grand and exciting event for tourists looking to experience the culture and heritage of the island. Lasting for a period of 7 days, the event marks the end of an old era and welcomes the dawn of a new era that promises to be filled with good fortune and blessings. The festival also coincides with the end of the harvest period, and thus the harvest festival is also celebrated along with the Sinhala & Tamil New Year.

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Traditionally known in Sri Lanka as Aluth Avurudu, the Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations follow auspicious times calculated by astrology. The time at which the new year dawns and the old year ends is usually hours apart from each other based on astrological calculations. As the celebration for the festival begin, women in some areas of the island come together to play a drum-like instrument known as the raban. People throughout Sri Lanka light various types of fireworks and fire crackers to celebrate the event. During the Festival, much of the country is on holiday as people travel to visit their hometowns.

Various types of rituals and traditions that have come down through the ages are followed by the households that celebrate the New Year. A fire is lit and milk is boiled according to an auspicious time. Bananas along with traditional food items such as kiribath (milk rice), kaung (an oil cake) and kokis (a sweetmeat) are prepared and dished out by most households. Homes are beautifully decorated for the occasion and opened up to family and friends. The produce from the harvest festival adds to joy of the celebration.

Find out more information on the Sinhala & Tamil New Year 2011 and on Sri Lanka travel by visiting the Truly Sri Lanka web portal. This popular website features comprehensive information on the island’s attractions, culture and must see destinations that is sure to help you plan your Sri Lanka holiday better.