Happy Aluth Avurudda!
Or Sinhalese New-Year. We celebrated it with homemade fireworks, sweet snacks and coconut arak. Sinhalese New-Year is on the 13th and 14th of april and traditionally starts with the sighting of the new moon. The tradition goes back to the 6th century B.C and Sri Lankan people celebrate with the beginning of the New-Year also the beginning of new thoughts. A famous ritual during New-Year is the overflowing of the milk.
The mythological background of Sinhalese New-Year is based upon Hindu literature. The prince of Peace called Indradeva to the earth to ensure peace and hapiness for the future. Indradeva comes, dressed up in white and breaks the gravity of the earth into a “Kira Sayura”, a sea of milk.
When the milk overflows (a tradition led by the mother of the house) the party begins. Houses are thrown open, kids go out to play and people mingle in the streets. Famous snacks to eat during New-Year are Kokis ( a sweet snack originally from Holland, het “kaakje”) and Kavum, an oily cake.
Note that all the tuna-fishers in the top picture we are having the coconut Arak with lost one or more relatives during the tsunami of 2004. Weligama was at the heart of the second wave, more then 38.000 people died. We were struck by the stories of these survivors. It ended up to be a very special weekend in the fisherman’s village.
We think that the Sri Lankans have an enormous resilience to overcome disaster and war and they are incredibly welcoming too!