Happy Sinhalese and Tamil New Year!
The Sinhalese and Tamil New Year dawned at 02:33 am today (14), celebrating the end of the harvesting season, with Sri Lankan welcoming the New Year with fresh hopes and renewed determination.
This year’s ‘Punya Kalaya’ also known as the ‘Nonagathaya’, the time where all business and work-related activities come to an end, commenced at 08:09 pm on Tuesday (13).
The ‘Nonagathaya’ period is often when Sri Lankans visit places of worship and obtain blessings.
The cultural history of the 'Traditional New Year' which is celebrated in the month of April, goes back to an ancient period in Sri Lankan history.
Various beliefs, perhaps those associated with the fertility of the harvest, gave birth to many rituals, customs, and ceremonies connected with the New Year. Buddhism and Hinduism were historically connected with each other, with a majority of their philosophies running along parallel dimensions, except for certain ultimate truths.
There was, however, no serious contradiction in New Year rituals that are found among the Buddhists and Hindus.
Modern-day activities related to the celebration of the traditional New Year is based on auspicious times given by astrologers, thus making the celebration a complex mix of indigenous, astrological, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.