Traditional New Year

The traditional Sinhala/ Tamil New Year is one of the most important cultural events celebrated in Sri Lanka, given even more significance as it is a shared custom between both the Sinhalese and Tamil populations which brings to light the commonalities between the cultures, and strengthens the sense of unity.

This celebratory period involves a lot of special games and festivals as well as customs regarding visiting friends and relations and auspicious times for cooking, working etc. meant to signify the start of a prosperous new year.

The Lahiru Pre-school celebrated the New Year a little early, ahead of their school holidays but this was also the perfect opportunity to teach these young children about the various customs that would take place on the actual day, including ‘kiri ithiraveema’ which signifies lighting the hearth to represent the beginning of activity and boiling a pot of milk until it bubbles over to symbolize overflowing prosperity in the coming year.

On a busy day where each event needs to take place at an auspicious time, it is important for the kids to have a prior understanding of what will take place and why these traditions and customs are observed. Therefore, an early mock-new year at the pre-school helps the children be ready for the big day of celebrations.

As an additional treat, the children also enjoyed a day of special new year games and dressed up in traditional costumes.

The Kahawa Children’s Goodness Club also engaged in a very special activity to celebrate the New Year. This time of year places special emphasis on visiting family and friends with traditional treats and new clothes strengthening family bonds and friendships. However, for those disenfranchised from family life, such as the elderly who reside at care homes isolated from their families, it can be a very lonely time.

Therefore, we were delighted to learn that the kids from Kahawa CGC visited the Madampagama Elder’s Home, with special gifts and treats for the elders residing there, and spent the day laughing, singing and playing games. Such a day of lively activity brightens up the lives of the elders, and lets them feel loved, appreciated and still very much a part of their community even in their old age.

It also gives the children a chance to spend time with the elderly, hear their stories and life experiences and truly become more loving and compassionate people who appreciate every member of their community, young or old, which are great values to carry in to a new year!

And so, as we begin a traditional new year, we wish you all health, wealth, happiness and great success in all your endeavours as we strive to light up the lives of more and more people who just need a little help to build a brighter future. Happy New Year!


27th April 2016



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