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Sinhala & Tamil New Year

Sri Lanka.
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Overview
In April, when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries), the Buddhist and the Hindu Sri Lankans begin celebrating their National New Year “Aluth Avurudhu” in Sinhala and “Puththandu” in Tamil.  
However, unlike the usual practice where the New Year begins at midnight, the beginning of the New Year and the conclusion of the old year also specified by the astrologers.
This also coincides with the time when the harvest ends, so the colorful fruit from the trees is collected in bulk to fuel the week-long celebrations. Festivities are prepared well in advance and most of the country grinds to a halt as hundreds travel home to be with their families.

The rituals begin with the cleaning of the house and lighting of an oil lamp, and women congregate to bash on the raban (drum) to warn others of the incipient change in the year. If you fail to hear this, a storm of firecrackers is bound to hammer the point home. Families indulge in a variety of rituals which are carefully determined by astrological calculations - from lighting the fire to making the kiri (milk rice) bath, to entering into the first business transaction and eating the first morsels.

Aurudu has become an important national holiday for both the cultures of the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Tamil Hindu Sri Lankans, and is unique as such, as it is not celebrated elsewhere in the world

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