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The colors of Avurudu

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April is a time of festivities, celebrations, the coming together of people, following of tradition, and as of late, the favorite time of the year for profit-seekers. While in the past, people of a neighborhood or village came together to play many games like Kanamutti or tug o’ war, today, these Avurudu kreeda are held by organizations that raise awareness about Sri Lankan culture and tradition, but also seem to commercialize it.

However, as much as the New Year has turned into a commercialized celebration, many still adhere to the rituals and traditions. Even though people are waiting to light firecrackers when the auspicious times arrive, families don’t forget to first light the fire that would bring milk to a boil or have the first meal for the New Year.

Thus the end of a year and the dawn of the next that is celebrated on April 13 and 14 by Sri Lankans is more than a celebration taken over by profit-seekers. It isn’t only about the competitions and sales. It’s also a time when people come together, when an entire nation lights the first oil lamp for the year at the same time, when every family sits together for a meal of milk rice and sweet meats, when transactions are made and blessings are received.

Pics by : Ravindra Dharmathilake, Chandana Wijesinghe, Rasika Kotudurage and Sri Lanka Air Force Media

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