Experience New Year Celebrations in Sri Lanka – A Time for Family and Fellowship

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The traditional New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka is a time marked by families getting together and various customs being observed by the country’s Sinhala and Tamil communities.

Traditional Food| Img by: Amila Tennakoon via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY 2.0

A National Holiday

The traditional New Year or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year generally falls on 13th and 14th April each year. In the villages, it is also celebrated as a harvest festival and it is a national holiday as well. Look to book family or honeymoon hotels in Sri Lanka in advance during this time; places like Amaya Hunas Falls, Kandy give you a chance to experience some of the New Year festivities.

Rituals and Customs

The New Year period is marked with a series of auspicious times at which various customs are followed. These include boiling milk in a clay pot till it overflows, applying oil on the head, lighting an oil lamp and observing Buddhist or Hindu rituals.

Traditional Food

An important and yummy part of this festival is the traditional food items that are made! Kiribath (milk rice) and pongal (sweetened rice) are favourites as are what are known as “sweetmeats”; kavum (oil cake), thalaguli (made with sesame seeds), kokis (a crunchy deep-fried snack) and laddu (flour-based sweet with ghee) to name a few.

Fun Games

New Year games are also part of the festive fun; popular games include the “Kana Mutti” (similar to hitting a piñata), “Banis Kama” (bun eating contest without use of hands) and “Kotta Pora” (involves trying to knock an opponent off a log using a hard pillow!).



Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+


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