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Rituals Observed During Sinhala and Hindu New Year

9 April 2024 03:53 pm

The month of “Bak” or April is a very special month in the calendar for the Sri Lankan Sinhala and Hindu people. It is the month that marks the dawn of a brand new year. The welcoming of the new year is steeped in traditional rituals followed by every member in the family in both Sinhala and Hindu households. Astrologically, it is at this time that the Sun makes its journey from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries) in the celestial sphere. Thus, the traditional rituals have a very big presence of astrology as well since all rituals are to be performed at an auspicious time given to the whole island. It is a unique happening, when people island wide perform tasks at the same time !

Words - Lakmini Wijemanne

Sri Lanka has been known throughout history to have predominantly an agriculture based economy. According to the rains that the island receives, April is a month when paddy is harvested and the farmers make it a point to celebrate their new harvest, by making offerings to gods before taking any from the new harvest for their private use. The farmers depend a lot on nature for a good harvest – especially timely rains – and they feel thankful that all gods have helped them to cultivate and harvest their crops well, bringing them food and money to survive. For this they make their thankful offerings to all gods . The celebrations of the New Year are very much tied with the harvesting of crops too.

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