What is your favourite thing to do during Avurudu?
By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna
The New Year means a fresh start for most of us; a chance to start something new, change something, or make a change in the world. It isn’t just about having fun with your friends and family, it is about planning to do something extraordinary. Although we set our yearly goals on 1 January, it is just a calendar new year. What we look forward to is the Sinhala and Tamil New Year which is closely connected to our cultures, lifestyles, and most of all, our hearts.
This New Year season, Little Stars explored how kids experience the Sinhala and Tamil Avurudu season and their favourite things to do during the Avurudu season. Here is what they shared with us.
We do follow all the rituals at home. We wear new clothes according to the particular colour given each year. This year’s colour is green, so I am going to be wearing green. My mother makes delicious Avurudu food. Out of all the goodies, I like the milk toffees and the coloured kokis the best. Lighting crackers with my father and overflowing the pot of milk are also a few of my favourite things to do. As a custom, I visit my cousins with a plate of oil cakes and beetle leaves. And in return, they gift me money and I love it so much. Mostly, we go out to hotels to celebrate Avurudu. The highlight of the Avurudu season for me is the Avurudu games. My favourite Avurudu games are “kana mutti bindima”, “kotta pora”, tug of war, keeping the eye on the elephant, balancing the lime on the spoon, and climbing the grease pole.
Grade 6E2, St. Peter’s College
As soon as I hear the cuckoo bird calling out “coo…coo…” and our mango tree is full of fruits, I know that Avurudu is around the corner. I like the different delicacies we make like kewum, aasmi, aluva, and milk rice. My favourite is the crispy kokis. I think I can eat a hundred in one go! The New Year games I enjoy are sack race, lime and spoon race, tug of war, and pinning the tail on the elephant. I think New Year customs bring families together and bring peace and harmony.
Grade 2E2, St. Peter’s College
My favourite Avurudu food is kiribath with lunu miris. I like the onions. The last time when we were in Sri Lanka for Avurudu we played a lot of board games and we ate doughnuts off the strings. My favourite of the Avurudu games was hitting a pot with our eyes covered, which is called “kana muttiya bindeema”. Why I liked it was because the pot was full of candy and if you break it, you get all that candy. On the Avurudu day, we eat together and we eat foods like milk rice, kokis, coconut toffees, and lots of yummy things. However, my favourite thing about Avurudu is the games.
Inuli Karunaratne, aged 7
This Avurudu I am going to achchi’s, which is my aunt’s and my father’s childhood home. When I go to achchi’s house, they give me presents; they give me nice clothes and they let me play. And they also give me yummy food. My favourite part of Avurudu is making kokis and eating the kokis. My amma likes to eat konda kewum.
Grade 2, OKI International School, Kandana
Even though this New Year is celebrated by the Sinhala and Tamil community, our whole country looks forward to this occasion. We prepare ourselves by making Avurudu kevili and buying new clothes and gift. Taking part in different Avurudu rituals, and taking part in the Avurudu games are also exciting parts of Avurudu celebrations. I love to take part in Avurudu ulelas which are full of Avurudu games and competitions – and there is one organised in my neighbourhood every Avurudu season. This New Year brings all Sri Lankans together.
Grade 6, St. Peter’s College
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is very important for Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus. The koha bird and the beautiful erabadu flowers give the message that Avurudu has come. Preparing food is a prominent element but before that, in the New Year, we have to boil milk in a brand-new pot. This brings us prosperity. And then we make the milk rice when the auspicious time arrives. We make varieties of foods to serve visitors and to give the neighbours. The Sinhala and Tamil Aluth Avurudda is a very colourful and joyful festival for me.
Uyuhansi Sneha Fernando
Gateway College, Ratmalana
For me, the happiness of the New Year is the taste and the smell of the sweetmeats which my mother makes. Among them I love kokis the most. And also my mother makes yummy milk rice on this day. All members of my family enjoy these foods together on the Avurudu day.
Minangi Dasanya Kulatunge
Grade 2, Sangamitta College, Galle
For me, the best part of the New Year is going to my grandparent’s place and playing with my cousins. We play so many traditional games together. My most favourite is the swing my grandfather makes for us. This New Year season, I am planning to spend some joyful time there.
Dasangee Madhurya Kulatunge
Grade 5, Sangamitta College, Galle