Happy Sinhala and Tamil new year is perhaps the most accurate 🙂 term. Last minute.com has a briefer description. The holiday is supposed to mark the completion of the Earth’s journey through the zodiac. In practical terms for Hindu or Buddhist Sri Lankans this holiday is the equivalent of thanks giving day and Christmas merged together.
It has the all the main ingredients. Families coming together, a big meal consisting of signature family dishes. Gift giving and other traditional activities. Despite all the religious stuff thrown in – at least from a Buddhist perspective – this is a folk holiday. Based on astrology and superstition the hard core rationalist might say.
I prefer to think of it an extended family time. Rich in traditions and memories. A while back I came across a black and white picture from a past family gathering. The one’s we used to have at the family’s “ancestral” house. My grandmother surrounded by me and my cousins. Us kids must have all been under 8 years old for sure – decked out traditional garb. The boys in sarongs and the girls in cloth and jacket. A moment of childhood frenzy frozen by a sharp relative’s camera. My grandmother with her joyous smile glowing serenely in the middle.
Now a majority of the people in the picture are on other continents. The ancestral house is no more – replaced by a condo complex. Everything else is reduced to memories and photographs with the fragrance of mothballs. But there’s no need to end this post on a glum note.
Here’s Wish you – irrespective of what you believe – another safe, happy and prosperous orbit around the sun.