April 14 Sinhalese New Year 2021 in Sri Lanka

At the end of the harvest season, when the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, the long-awaited “New Year” year in Sri Lanka is celebrate in many homes, mainly by Buddhists and Hindus. From a list of customs to delicious mouthfuls of sweets and fun activities, this year offers an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to celebrate as one family. Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a popular cultural festival that brings together Sri Lankans from all over the world, with the call of the Koha bird (Asian)  for various celebrations and traditions throughout the month of April.


The time interval between the end of the old year and the dawn of the new year is Calle “Nonagathaya”. According to Sinhala beliefs, this time is use for holding religious ceremonies. People can be seen walking to their temples dressed in white, which is always a pleasant sight. Buddhists are also encourage to refrain from their daily activities and seek blessings from their priests and monks. So

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new year are a few hours apart. During this time, according to tradition, Sri Lankans are encourage to abstain from daily activities and to engage only in religious activities. During this transitional period, people stop their daily activities and come to the temple to receive alms and receive blessings from the temple priests.

Welcoming the New Year

Preparations for the New Year are makeing in advance in Sri Lanka. From cleaning and repainting their homes to buying new clothes for family members and preparing traditional desserts, homework is endless. Buying new pottery is also considerer an important tradition. So,

When the auspicious time comes, the New Year is welcome by lighting the stove in a newly purchase clay pot and boiling fresh milk as a symbol of prosperity. Scattering the milk on each side of the bowl brings good luck to the whole family.

This simple gesture symbolizes unity among all without limits. Cash and business transactions are made dur this specific time to receive the blessings of success. So

Other Rituals

It is also a good time for many people to start their work in the new year with the determination to do better and reap more. Many people from farmers to school children participate in their daily activities. But

Another tradition that has been passed down through the centuries in Sri Lanka is the worship of elders. All the elders in the family are presented with a piece of betel leaf and the youth receive their blessings for the future.

Many villages, suburbs and hotels, resorts, and even guest houses celebrate this New Year in a simple or grand way. Sponsors organize fun-filled activities. They include various recreational activities such as drumming and tug-of-war and pillow fights. Food is always served and people have fun putting aside these festivals, actors, and religions. So

Among all these rituals, a special ceremony is usually held for the anointing of the oldest member of the family. This can be seen by the monks in their temples as well as in the implementation of the tradition which symbolizes good health. But Palapala Litha has good times and there is also time to leave for work. During the New Year holidays, many people go back to their hometowns and return to their workplaces hoping to do better in the coming year.

Transition period

Commencement of work

People start their work at exactly the right time. The nature of the work depends on their age. Children start school work. Adults symbolically begin their work according to their profession. For example, a farmer can go to a paddy field to cultivate paddy. So, A musician plays his instrument and a teacher begins to prepare for classroom work.

So, Then the adults have time to greet with a piece of betel leaf. Adults bless young children for years to come. It is another custom to exchange money symbolically. Many people prefer to exchange money with a successful person to make money. So,

Finally, it’s time for a family meal at the table. This ritual symbolizes family unity and togetherness. Everyone sits together to enjoy the milk rice prepared at an auspicious time. So

Relatives Viewing relatives and neighbors

Once the basic rituals are over, people begin to visit close relatives and exchange plates filled with sweet meat with friends and neighbors. It is customary to take betel leaves to worship the elders. During the New Year, people go to distant places to visit close relatives, and sometimes this is even a week after the New Year begins.

Applying oil on the head

Applying oil to the scalp is another custom that Sri Lankans do not miss. The oldest member of the family is the one who puts the medicinal oil on the head of others. Dedication also takes place in the village temples. Villages gather to place the anointing oil on the head of the high priest in the temple.

Food preparation

The New Year is celebrate by boiling milk in a clay pot, symbolizing prosperity, as milk is scatters on all sides of the bowl. After that milk rice is prepare. Traditional Sinhala sweetmeats such as ‘Kokis‘, ‘Asmi‘, ‘Kavam‘, ‘Coconut Toffee‘ and ‘Veli Thalapa’ are available to serve guests, gifts to neighbors, and others while traveling.

New Year, music and games

Offering a piece of betel leaf to the elders and worshiping it is an accepted custom in Sri Lanka at all important occasions. Gifts are exchanged and the rest of the day is spent visiting relatives and playing New Year’s games with members of the community. but The Rabana is a wide, flat drum that is an important part of the New Year celebration and is played by groups of villagers.


A summary

Many people who were born and raised in the beautiful villages around the island of Sri Lanka are leaving their homes to find work in the big cities. So, Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a time for everyone to celebrate again with their family. After the ceremony, a few days after the main ceremony, people leave for work at auspicious times.


So, Between the day of the ceremony and the departure for work, a special ceremony is held at the village temple to anoint the people with herbs. Leading current leaders believe that specially formulated oils have healing properties for every member of the community and will give that person a healthy start to the new year. He is anointed and he / she stands on a bed of herbs and the prelates sing hymns wishing him good health.


Sri Lanka is a country with an agricultural heritage and therefore the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and all the traditions associated with it have evolved with the village culture as their basis. However, even with modern urbanization, festivals have not been wiped out, and families in cities also follow many customs, especially non-stop, oven-burning and milk-eating, first-time meals, and bargaining.

Happy New Year to you all ??

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  1. Samuditha samarakoon Reply

    ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සංස්කෘතික ලෝකයා හා බෙදා ගැනීමට දරන ප්‍රයන්තයට මගේ ගෞරවය……….♥️☺️

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