Photo Journal: Ushering in the New Year in Sri Lanka

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

“Sarvasiththu Varusha” New Year dawns at 10.42 am on April 14th 2007.

In getting ready to celebrate the New Year, people were seen purchasing new clothes, banana leaves, mango leaves, flower garlands and clay pots.

Hindus queue up at temple to get “Maruththu Neer” (medicinal water) to anoint at the dawn of new year. “Maruththu Neer” is made of “Arugu”, Vilvam”, Kondral”, “Aal”, “Arasu” (bo tree leaves), “Mathulai” (pomegranate) , “Thamarai” (lotus), “Thulasi”, “Kosalam”, “Komayam”, Milk, King Coconut, Rose water, “Sukku” (dried ginger), Cardamom, and Nutmeg. These ingredients are boiled together for few minutes.

People wear new clothes, go to temples, and visit their friends and relatives on new year day.

Hindus celebrate “Sarvasiththu” New Year on April 14th 2007

“Maruththu Neer” is being boiled at Naattukottai Nagaraththar New Kathiresan temple in Bambalapitiya for the devotees

Hindus get “Maruththu Neer” from the temples

“I could not go to Jaffna to celebrate the new year with my family this year. I am very frightened of the escalating violence. We need to live in peace and harmony” said Srirangan Srikumar (23),a banana seller in Bambalapitty

A special “Abhishekam” is being performed at the Naattukottai Nagaraththaar New Kathiresan temple in Bambalapitty before the New Year dawns

“Sarvasiththu Varusha” New Year dawns at 10.42am on April 14th 2007

Getting ready to celebrate the New Year-in Bambalapitty

Getting ready to celebrate the New Year in Ratmalana

“People are suffering in North and East of the country. We need permanent peace to live without any fear” said Karuppannan Ravi (34), a shop keeper in Bambalapitty

Business is bustling according to the businessmen, despite the prevailing situation

People pray for permanent peace

“Arms cannot win the hearts of the people. Only love and affection can win the hearts of the people.The warring parties have to cease hostilities immediately, and look into the humanitarian needs of the suffering innocent people.Then only you can talk about peace. Only God can bring peace to shattered Sri Lanka” said Sellathurai Thavarajah (49), from Switzerland. He is currently visiting his relatives in Colombo. He hails from Chulipuram, but left Sri Lanka in 1990 due to the situation

“Thoranam” (young coconut leaves were plaited together by fingers) is sold for Rs.5/

Clay pots are sold in Ratmalana for the New Year

“We neither want peace nor war, because this is a political game. Let us live and lead our normal lives” said Vellasamy Tharmalingam (55), a manager in Bambalapitty

Annually every householder begins a new life, with a new outlook

Firecrackers will be lit to welcome the New Year

“Peace has to be restored immediately. We want to live peacefully. I do not want to witness another bloody war” said Ponnaiah Nadaraj (36), a salesman in Bambalapitty

Sinhala-Tamil New Year marks the journey of the Sun God from Meena to Mesha in the Zodiac

Peace seems a distant dream for the Sri Lankans

Source: humanityashore

Contact: Dushi.Pillai@gmail.com

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