If people are availing their Sri Lanka vacation tours in the month of April, they may attend Aluth Avurudda celebrations. Aluth Avurudda or the Sinhalese New Year is among the most significant events of this island country and is astrologically governed. It falls on the day that the Sun moves from the Pisces Constellation to that of Aries. Sri Lankan culture has been shaped together by Hinduism and Buddhism and these celebrations partake of both the faiths. The onset of the New Year also symbolises the end of the season of harvest and as a result, ceremonies and rituals associated with harvesting add to the festivities. An interesting thing about it is that almost a 12-hour difference exists between the ending of the current and the beginning of the new years. This is the time taken by the sun to migrate from one constellation to the other and is considered auspicious.
During the above-mentioned time, people are traditionally expected to keep away from materialistic engagements and devote themselves to religious ceremonies. As the New Year arrives, everyone clean their homes and light traditional oil lamps. Women announce the dawn of the new month by beating drums, called Raban. Small rabans can be hand-held and rotated at fingertips and the bigger drums are kept on the ground and played by more than one person. Astrological calculations determine the exact time for ceremonies like lighting the lamps and preparing kiribath, the most famous national dish. Other activities like paying or taking money for the first time in the new month and eating the first bite are also performed at specific junctures during the day.
The starting of every ceremony or ritual is announced to everyone with the noise and spectacular colours of fireworks. As the religious activities end, revellers open their homes, come out and mingle and children go out to play. Kavum, a pastry made with rice flour and palm sugar, and kokis, again made with rice flour along with coconut milk, are the main food items of this celebration. Availing Sri Lanka tours is an excellent idea to savour these delicious festive dishes of Sri Lanka.
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