I wish all my avid readers and the occasional itinerant a very blessed New Year filled with fulfillment of your personal goals and aspirations.
The auspicious time of 7.20pm on Friday 13th April 2012 was when the New Year dawns. It is usually on April 14th but this year, I think due to the leap year it came a few hours earlier and was 13th night. It was just marked by the ear shattering sound of fireworks all around me. I was more concerned for the welfare of the dogs as they usually get very agitated at the sound of fireworks. I guess it is a traditional sign of something to remember by and the lighting of the hearth time was 7.42. At least I have a hearth in my kitchen, in a separate building next to the house, which uses firewood here on the farm, though I also have a gas cooker in the pantry.
Unlike the traditions with no family here to partake in the rituals, I decided to spend the last few hours typing a document on suggestions for improvement in the higher education sector, namely the state one, as I believe the private sector can take care of itself.
We in Sri Lanka are fortunate, in that the 1st of the year as well as Sinhala New Year gives us two cracks at the cherry. I am confused when combined with Hindu New Year and not Tamil. Why is one based on religion and the other by a race? I guess those waiting to have a dig at SL will use this as a point, so let us just call it Tamil New Year and be done with it. I googled and in Tamil Nadu they celebrate Tamil New Year, so it is NOT Hindu as Sinhala chauvinists would like to call it!!
For me it is a time to spend a few days on the farm in Godagama, catch up on my laundry, time with the dogs, and generally recharge for the next innings.
I have received so many greetings by way of texts. This form of greeting has taken over from the traditional cards. Then when one goes into facebook there are numerous New Year cards inserted by people all with traditional New Year looks but except for the girls serving at Food City, I find it hard even at this time of year to find anyone wearing the Redda and Hatta. Despite the fireworks, which signifies any event, it is not the same as the traditional attire at New Year, one of the Hallmarks of our culture, is absent. Let us toast to a revival of that please!!!!
I just heard the fireworks again, this is the 10.28pm calling for the tradition of partaking in the first meal for the new year. I have no photos today, and will instead put a few photos taken on April 1st when we were giving kids at three different Sunday schools in the Minneriya electorate books, chairs and certificates.