Journey with the Sun
Here we are again prepping with increasing excitement to celebrate yet another completion of our Sun’s celestial journey through the 12 zodiac houses. (though we fully know it isn’t the sun that makes this journey…lol)
Simply put, the Aluth Avurudda (a.k.a. Sinhala & Tamil New Year) is actually a celebration of Spring and all good things that come with it: The rich harvests, full rivers (after the northeast monsoon), blooming flowers, singing birds and school holidays!
Coming to think of it, celebrating a New Year in April just makes so much more sense than celebrating it in January, because it is more inline with Mother Nature. i.e. If we were to consider the cycle of the 4 seasons, Spring is what spells birth, life and new beginnings, right?
As nature prepares herself in all her glory, we too busy ourselves with ‘spring-cleaning’ and ‘make-overs’ (both on our homes and on our selves)…
That being said, if I were to be asked the question of why this festival means so much, it wouldn’t be the games, the gifts, the rituals, the cleaning, the painting or even the eating…
The best thing about Avurudu for me is seeing and meeting all my relatives. Experiencing what it would be like to be part of a good-old-fashioned extended family… When Seeya’s house somehow manages to accommodate 50 people for at least two days. The kids go crazy as they meet their cousins after a long time, the women have so much they want to tell each other (gossip and other), the kitchen is at its busiest and the men gather to set up the Avurudu games & fireworks (if not they can be found chatting or playing carom), there is so much buzz and life around!
However, there seems to be a common misconception that this festival is only celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus in Sri Lanka. It is true that the festival revolves around Buddhist & Hindu traditions and beliefs but this particular festival is known as a cultural festival rather than a religious festival and even if it wasn’t so, I like to believe that we Sri Lankans celebrate all festivals with equal excitement.
I hope that this beautiful festival will not be yet another reason for us to discriminate each other…
Take Care all!
Wish you a Very Happy Avurudu!