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Traditional New Year

Sri Lanka’s traditional new year is known as Sinhala and Tamil New Year. On the 13th of April, the new year begins at an auspicious time. The timing is determined by the movement of the sun from the House of Pieces to the House of Aries. It is Sri Lanka’s largest festival, with a plethora of ceremonies, customs, traditional food, and traditional games.

The new year rites begin on January 13th with a ritual known as the neutral time or Nonagathe. During this period, individuals abstain from everyday activities, including eating and drinking and focus only on religious activities in order to receive blessings for the upcoming new year.

When the auspicious time arrives, which marks the start of the new year, individuals put on new garments in the given auspicious color.

There are auspicious times for preparing food, eating food, and leaving home for work for the first time in the new year. At each auspicious time, the people light and enjoy firecrackers.

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  • April

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