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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Singhala and Hindu New Year is near!




The Singhalese and Hindu New Year is almost on us (13th and 14th of April) and everything is grinding slowly to a halt. It is the biggest festival for Sri Lankans and I have just shown three pictures (from various sites not my own) which show the festivities which take place. The first is the traditional food prepared, milk rice which is exactly what it means and the sweetmeats which accompany it, the second is the very important blessings by the priest and the final picture is of a drum being played by three women.

The festival is important because it sends everyone (well almost everyone) scurrying home - home in this instance is your ancestral home where your parents live. Very often this is in a village quite a distance away from where you live/work so there is a lot of planning involved. Half the excitement is for the children because going to visit grandparents, grand aunts and uncles and aunts whom you see once a year means a lot of gifts going to be received. There is also for city children the opportunity to observe village customs, village food and also have some idea of how their parents lived before they moved to the bigger cities.

So many children in Sri Lanka are pressured by parents to perform academically well and it is a constant round of tuition classes and I sometimes wonder who is the more pressurised - the children or the parents. Everyone wants their son or daughter (thank the good Lord we do not have female prejudices here) to be a doctor, a lawyer or some big professional. They will not accept that everyone cannot shine in this way and that there is a lot of wonderful people out there who do simpler things but actually keep the whole world turning. I will not get on my hobby horse again at this time though!!!

Offices have been closed from Friday and the roads are empty. Everyone who has folk back in their villages have left or are preparing to leave. In my case, I am from the city - I do not have roots in a village so here we are. It has been however an extremely busy week as we do have agricultural property in a far off village and one of the traditional celebrations is where employers give gifts to their workers. This was done and another year has gone by. Tea factories and rubber factories have also closed and everyone is enjoying a well earned rest. Workers on agricultural properties labour very hard to earn their monthly wage and these ten days are a respite for them as well.

I have lots of books to read. Several read and reviews to be done. Wishing everyone a very happy, peaceful and blessed New Year.

12 comments:

Heather said...

Thank-you for sharing about this celebration. Other than the planning for the travel, it sounds like a peaceful and invigorating visit. Here we are always so rushed at holidays, which last only one day and then back to the grindstone. Having days to spend with family would be wonderful.

bermudaonion said...

I think the tradition of spending the new year with your family is a wonderful one. Happy New Year to you!

chasingbawa said...

Happy new year Mystica! Hope you get time to relax and enjoy some reading:)

Barb said...

I so enjoyed reading about your customs....Happy New Year!!

Marie said...

I loved reading your post. I love learning about celebrations in other countries/cultures. Thanks for posting it. Happy New Year!

Blodeuedd said...

Great tradition post :) I really enjoyed reeding about your celebrations.

Academic pressure, I am so happy we do not have that here

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

First, your post makes me hungry! I, too, think that success can't be measured by what you do or how much money you make; it's a happiness inside you that comes especially from any job well-done! I hope the holiday was great!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like the sound of your traditions. enjoy time with loved ones.

RAnn said...

Great posts. I think most cultures have at least one "must do" holiday season that involves gathering with the family. Loved reading about yours.

Darlene said...

Your traditions sound wonderful. Have a nice time with family and Happy New Year.

Alyce said...

Thanks for sharing about your traditional holidays! I very much enjoyed this post.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure I've told you before, one of my favorite things about blogging is getting to know about so many different cultures from bloggers world wide. I had no idea about this holiday; it sounds wonderful!