(CMR) The Sri Lankan community in the Cayman Islands joined Sri Lankans worldwide to celebrate the Sinhalese New Year last week.
Sri Lankan New Year, generally known as Puthaandu or Aluth Avurudda, is a holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of Sri Lanka. It is generally celebrated on 13 April or 14 April and traditionally begins at the sighting of the new moon.
The Sri-Lankan New Year coincides with the new year celebrations of many traditional calendars of South and Southeast Asia. According to astrology, the New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest season and spring.
Cultural rituals begin shortly after the beginning of the Sinhalese New Year, cleaning the house and lighting an oil lamp. In some communities, women congregate to play upon the Raban (a type of drum) to announce the incipient change in the year.
Once the important rituals are done, the partying begins as families mingle in the streets, homes are thrown open, and children are let out to play.