New Year Greetings!

happy-sinhala-and-tamil-new-year copy


Best Wishes from the ‘Blog Master’

Thank you for your continued support

Click Below to check the “Avurudu Litha’ for 2018,  kindly shared by Ariya

Sinhala and Tamil New YearNew Year – 2018


Quiz from Deepthie

Do you know the significance of the bunch of keys on top of the drum ?

Is it to make it bounce around and make a tinkling sound ?



Shared by Rani

12 thoughts on “New Year Greetings!”

  1. Hi Deepthie

    I think placing the keys on the Rabana is to change the rhythm of the Raban pada,
    I think sometimes bangles and betel leaves are also used.

    Long ago When I was in NZ, I have participated, in playing the Rabana,reciting the Raban pada,at Avurudu festivals
    I teach my grand children Raban pada, while using the table top as the Rabana.


    1. Wish All of The Class of 64- Happy New Year !

      Thank you Rani- I was thinking of the same thing – to change/ add to the rhythm of the Raban Pada .

      I found this picture on Google and had it ‘saved ‘ for many years as I just love looking at it- specially the Elder Grandmother teaching the Raban Pada to the young maidens, just like Rani- how you taught it to your grand kids, and I taught it to my daughter when we were living in Ottawa back in the 70’s .

      I did not know the answer to / significance of the bunch of keys- that is why I asked the question.
      I have seen Betel leaves used , more as a traditional thing , and a mark of Respect and Honor to Celebrate the New Year .
      I dont know, if this Raban Pada is still played like this in SL- as one year I remember sending dear sweet Praxy all over Colombo hotels to look to see if there was Raban Pada was being played and sung, like the way they have Christmas Carols , and send me a photo .
      At that time, she could not find one hotel in Colombo that had Raban Pada , and I saw this photo of google , and saved it .

      I have a nice set of Raban Pada written out and I do sing some of these at my Drum Circle- (when I feel like singing something in Sinhala ) as we sing songs mostly in Ojibway, and a few in English .
      I might do this when I attend Drum Circle on monday .

      To answer Seelan’s question- about Christians etc— I agree with Ariya – who gave a wonderful explanation of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Celebrations- its Origins from an Astronomical perspective etc .
      Thank you Ariya for your insight into this National Celebration .

      My mother was a devout Christian- and we never really got to celebrate this great national event, and same for Vesak – as both was regarded as a Non Christian Celebration , and to be honest, and I hate to say this , it was simply ” looked down ” upon by the Christian Powers That Be at that time, when I was growing up at home and school .
      Now, things have changed for the better .

      What ever I learnt about this National Traditional Celebration-simply Self Taught .

      My memory of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year ?– all the servants went home, and I was the cook and bottle washer !!
      Then, the servants returned loaded with Kavum and Rasa Kavili !–Their treat for me, for holding fort in the kitchen, while they were gone !


  2. Wishing you all a happy & healthy “Sinhala & Tamil” New year.

    Few interesting questions:-
    1) It always puzzled me why “Sinhalese & Tamil” New year, when some Sinhalese & Tamils are Christians?
    (It should be known as Buddhist & Hindu New Year).
    2)Why they both celebrate on the same day? There must have been a common reason.
    3)who started this? Buddhists or Hindus? & Why?
    I am not deeply into religion, but can someone more knowledgeable explain to ill informed people like me.
    Thank you.


    1. My dear Seelan,

      About naming the ‘New Year’ I shall try my best to explain
      To my knowledge, it does not have a religious connotation
      This has been a traditional thanksgiving festival celebration
      To the lord of our solar system, for light, energy & life giving

      It is a Hindu custom introduced by ancient, Indian Brahmins
      Tracking the path of Sun transiting twelve (Houses) Stars
      New year thus is calculated when Sun leaves house Pisces
      And move to the first house of the Zodiac we know as Aries

      Because it is an Astronomical event governed by rules of nature
      No religious connotations but has a profound respect by farmers
      From ancient times, Sun is revered by man for its links with crops
      This traditional annual event has profound astrological connotations

      Second part of your question why Sinhalese and Tamil, Christians
      Do not celebrate ‘New year’ unlike Tamil Hindus & Sinhala Buddhists
      That might be more to do with the traditional Christian teachings
      Certainly Sinhala Buddhists have much in common with the Hindus

      As you know Prince Siddhartha was born and brought to Hindu parents
      Most of his early religious learning was based on Hindu doctrines
      Cultural and other celebrations would have migrated from Hindus
      As much common grounds and festivities exist between two religions



    2. Hi Seelan,
      Thanks Ariya for your explanation to Seelan. Herewith is my take on it.
      Seelan, your queries may never be answered correctly as none of us know for sure ,the evolution of these traditions over time..Robert Knox(1681) in his book on his experiences in Ceylon as a prisoner in the Kandyan kingdom, commenting on the practice, without prejudice, indicates that the Avurudha dates varied between the 8th and 20th of March each year and he correlates this to the position of the sun at it’s closest to the people on that particular year.This indicates that it was predominantly a productivity related festival to pay homage to the sun and as a result it was a time of abundance after the rice crop was harvested.
      It cannot be called a Hindu festival as the Hindus of Kannada speaking region close to Tamil Nadu do not celebrate this event and the Hindus of Nepal have a different date for their New Year.It cannot be called Buddhist too as Buddhism does not advocate living by auspicious times, as is the current practice.!
      The christians are left out as Christianity spread to India around ? 52AD with the visit of St Thomas to Kerala( this has been questioned) and definitely later ,adopted by the Jews belonging to the Syrian Christian church in Kerala by the 5th Century AD.Consolidated in the 15th century by the Portugese. Furthermore the Malayalis do not celebrate New Year at the same time. Why?
      In essence it is a festival by farmers for the farming community,wishing for better harvests especially at a time when the Sun was closest to the people as judged by the locals, based on the astronomical calculations available at that time.
      Many of the current practices have been added to with the passing of time.
      In Sri Lanka , it is a special day and we all enjoy participating in the happiness that prevails.


  3. A very happy Sinhala and Tamil New year to everyone.

    I do not know the significance of the keys on the Rabana.

    Nisantha and Piching


    1. O my dear Piching and Nisantha – How I miss those wonderful gatherings we had in Pitts – for the Sinhala and Tamil NY !!– with all of us– both of you, Esiri, Zavahir , my self and who ever that could sing would sing after the Festive Feast .

      Piching- YOU were the back bone of those New Year Events , year after year .
      . Kumi and Siri– were there too and those were good days !

      Wonderful trip down memory lane …

      Thank You Sam- for the work done by you, to keep us all together .
      Special Greetings to you and Kathy and family .

      Deepthie .


  4. A happy National New Year to all when it dawns tomorrow at 11. 57 am( SL time). Subha Aluth Avurudhak Weva.Iniya Puthandu Valthical.
    I agree with Ariya that it is a Sinhala and Tamil festival as it celebrates the beginning of the solar or Shaka calendar- not the Buddhist lunar calendar, and it is in the Sinhala month of Bak not the Pali Citta., though the Hindus name the month Chiththirai. Christians in Sri Lanka are slowly recognizing this festival as a National event but do not observe the auspicious times. The Church of Ceylon has special services and a prescribed prayer for the S & T New Year. When Christianity came to Sri Lanka the Missionaries did not want the converts to celebrate any other cultural festival. Unfortunately this thinking prevails but slowly changing. The New Year is basically an ancient agricultural and fertility festival and should be celebrated by all Sri Lankans.
    Thanks all for enlightening us.


    1. HI Narme- thanks for the explanation of Missionary Influence on Ceylon — who did a great job on the “Missionarization Process “.

      Back in the day, “Harvesting Souls ” was big business- all over the world —- both State and Church Sponsored
      where ever they went , North American continent , Africa, Aus, NZ–

      Now , these Indegenous People are taking back their Power .



  5. Thanks Ariya, Eddie & Narme for enlightening me. You all are full of knowledge. I never knew all these details & never read about this but was just enjoying the public holiday!!
    When I was a child I remember my parents gave us all new clothes & some money in a betel leaf. We go to the local temple & were vegetarian on that day.
    I am now a knowledgeable person!


  6. No worries Seelan.May I just take this opportunity to explain further about the time that the Sun is directly overhead in the month of March( as observed by Knox ).As you all know, March 21 is the date of the Spring solstice in the northern hemisphere.This is when the sun is directly over the equator and this was also the longest day!This is what the people were trying to determine in the days gone by, to fix the date for the celebrations.However, Sri Lanka being 8 degrees north of the equator it is possible that the dates were shifted to a date later than the 21 st of March to coincide when the sun was directly overhead in Sri Lanka..().Hence the non concordance with the March spring solstice date of 21 March.Regards.Eddie.


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