Beliefs Foundations Opening NewYear Clairvoyants Unlucky Days Holy Tree Yantra & Mantra Statue Shrines

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

New Year - First Meal of the New Year

The Sri Lankan New Year is around April 13th or April 14th.

All fires are put out in the households at the prescribed auspicious time & then at the lucky time (this varies – it can be very early in the morning or in the late afternoon) all over Sri Lanka families will light the first fire of the new year & boil a pot of coconut milk. The cooking fire is then kindled from this fire. Then they will eat their first meal – kiribat (milk rice) with sambala (relish), bananas etc.

This procedure is broadcast on TV so that all families can do this at the same time all over Sri Lanka.  They are told when to kindle the fire etc.

Money is then given to each member of the family by a senior member. The recipient should then keep this money until the next year before spending it. This is believed to attract good luck in all enterprises to the individual.

At New Year all family members  wear their new New Year clothes – these have been bought and given to each family member by close relatives and friends.

Then in the one to two weeks following New Year celebrations, families will visit relatives and neighbours taking with them a small gift such as , tea, sugar, biscuits, cakes etc. When they visit they will be offered light refreshments such as tea, cold drink, biscuits, bananas etc which are laid out buffet style to welcome New Year visitors.

First meal of the New Year is laid out for family to partake together

Making tea outside whilst awaiting the lucky time to kindle first cooking fire of New Year inside the house

Preparing the traditional brass lamp to be lighted for the New Year

Kindling first fire in the house. N.B. clay pot with coconut milk. Daughter of the house is learning from her mother and grandmother

Coconut milk boils over evenly indicating it will be a good year for the family

First cooking fire is kindled in house cooking place and first meal is cooked.

Presenting New Year money to members of the family