Before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year | Sunday Observer

Before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year

4 April, 2021

The call of the koha (Koel) and the blossoming of the erabudu flowers remind us that the Aluth Avuruddha or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year around the corner. There is a popular couplet which says Avuruddath kittu kittu, erabudu mall pottu pottu meaning the New Year is near and the erabudu buds are about to burst into bloom. Erabudu is a beautiful red flower and the koha is a beautiful bird also known as the ‘Sri Lankan cuckoo’.

When the people see the blossoming erabudu flowers and hear the koha they start getting ready for the New Year. Here are some of the things they do.

Aluth Sahal Mangallya

This is the offering of the new rice of the Yala season at the Jaya Shri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura. to the Buddha and deities.


Cleaning and painting of houses

People clean and colour wash their houses and buy new curtains and generally beautify their houses. If they have floors of clay cow dung fresh layers are applied. The thatching and retiling of roofs too are done.


Bringing the harvest home

The paddy is harvested and the harvest of the Maha season is brought home and stored in wee bissas (conical thatched structures) and atuvas (generally wooden structures) and other storage spaces.


Buying new utensils, clothes and gifts

The buying of new clothes, utensils and gifts play a very important role in the New Year Festivities. People throng shops and market places and many shops have New Year sales where goods are sold at less -than-normal prices or discounted rates.