Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) New Year

Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) New Year

By Seja Kularatna, Age 10, Wisconsin.

Hi my name is Seja. I am 10 years old, I live in Wisconsin, and my parents are originally from Sri Lanka. I will tell you about the Sri Lankan New Year. Sinhalese New Year, called Aluth Avurudda in Sri Lanka, is celebrated on April 13th or 14th each year.

Sri Lanka is an island country that is just south of India. The temperature is always warm in Sri Lanka.

This year, the Sri Lankan New Year is on April 14th. Before this special day, people make preparations that include cleaning and redecorating our houses, making of Kevum (our traditional sweets) and Kiribath (milk rice) and engaging in religious observances.

Every year, here in the United States, we have a Sri Lankan New Year Celebration with friends and family. We have lots of yummy dishes, games, and entertainment.

Ladies wear Sarees and the girls wear Lama Sarees. Lama means kids in Sinhalese, so they wear kid’s versions of the Sarees. The men and boys wear traditional clothing. They have long sleeved shirts and sarongs. Sarongs are like long skirts for boys and men. The kids wear their white clothing to sing the Sri Lankan National Anthem.

For the New Year celebration, the kids perform dances or sing Sinhalese songs. Our parents begin training us a few months prior to the celebration. Usually, we do group dances with other kids, so we go to each other’s homes to practice. The parents make our dance costumes.

On the Sri Lankan New Year, there are different types of food. Lots of people like to make something at home and bring it to share. We usually eat rice with other side dishes, and when we’re done, we eat sweets.

The adults plan games for the kids. We usually play games like Tug of War, Draw the Eye on the Donkey, Musical Chairs, and more.

The Sri Lankan New Year is an occasion to pay homage to our elders and receive their blessings, to renew our relations with friends and relatives. It is time for great fun and enjoyment for the kids. My favorite part is practicing the dances with our costumes and props.

By Seja Kularatna, Age 10, Wisconsin.

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