Home Preparations for Sinhalese New Year

By Remitbee - Mar 31, 2022

Sinhalese New Year will be celebrated on April 14, 2022, but it is generally observed either April 13 or 14, in time of the sighting of the new moon and the mark of the end of the harvest season and spring. The Sinhala New Year is mainly observed by Sri Lankans, not just the Sinhalese.

Like other cultures, Sri Lankans who celebrate the Sinhalese New Year often prepare their household to welcome this upcoming year. While different cultures usually focus on making personal resolutions to improve themselves, Sri Lankans often mend their homes in preparation for this new year’s celebration to signify a fresh start from a material perspective.

In this article, we will outline how you can prepare your home to welcome the Sinhalese New Year this 2022 so that your new year is sure to have a great start.

How to Prepare Your Home for the Sinhala New Year

Step 1: Check your home for any repairs

Before looking inside your home, it is best to check out the physical state of the house. Look for anything that requires repairs and construction. If your home’s interior needs an upgrade, such as re-painting your walls, it is recommended that you do so.

Step 2: Declutter your house

Once you have mended any repairs your home requires with your budget, it is time to check the items in your home, including your personal belongings. Since the Sinhalese New Year symbolizes a fresh start, it is recommended that you discard your home of any undesirable objects, including old and shabby clothes.

Decluttering your home is beneficial for your home. It is also helpful for your mental health. When your home has less clutter, your mind can be calmer, and you feel more in control. Tidying up your space also reduces stress and gives your home more room to breathe.

Step 3: Deep clean your home

Once you’ve repaired your house and removed the clutter, now’s the best time to clean your home from top to bottom. Make sure that all crooks and crannies in your house are spotless for the Sinhalese New Year. Aside from re-painting your walls, it is also recommended that you polish your floors and clean your kitchen well, especially since food will be prepared for the celebration.

True, cleaning your home can be tiring and daunting when you do it alone. So why not make this a family activity? That way, you can share the work, finish faster, and bond as you clean your abode.

On the day of the dawn of the New Year, the front area of your home should also be cleaned and sprinkled with saffron water and cow dung.

Step 4: Decorate your home with a Kolam

A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of straight lines, curves and loos around a grid pattern of dots using rice flour, white stone powder, or chalk powder. Every Sinhalese New Year, female family members make this in front of their home entrance. The Kolam is more than just a decoration. It is also a sign of welcoming other beings into your home and life, promoting a harmonious co-existence.

Step 5: Light an oil lamp

Lighting an oil lamp at the dawn of the Sinhala New Year symbolizes prosperity and an homage to Buddha. On the morning of Saturday, April 14, families will go to their family tables to light the flame of their traditional oil lamp. While doing this, the family keeps in mind their prayers and cherished expectations for the incoming new year.

Step 6: Boil the milk

After lighting the oil lamp, the women of the household will boil milk in a new clay pot. The milk will be allowed to bubble over as a symbol of prosperity and good luck for the incoming year.

Step 7: Cook traditional Sinhalese New Year food

Sinhalese New Year is also marked by cooking, eating, and sharing traditional foods, primarily sweets. These include Kirbath (milk rice). This dish is prepared by steaming rice and cooking it with coconut milk and salt. It is then cut into diamond shape pieces. Other sweet dishes to be prepared include Peni Walalu, Kokis, Kavum, Aasami, and more!

Step 8: Serve food at your table

Once you’re done preparing traditional food for the Sinhalese New Year, you should set them up on your table, and all family members should share this food together. Afterwards, it would be best if you also shared them with your neighbors.

After preparing your home for the Sinhalese New Year, make sure that you also follow the other traditions required of you during this celebration, such as doing the last bath for the year, visiting the temple, and participating in numerous games.

Contribute to the Joy of Your Family Celebrating Sinhalese New Year

If you are based in Canada, but your hometown is in Sri Lanka, you can still do something to make this new year extra special for you and your family. You may send them money to easily fund any repairs to be done to your old home or contribute to the food that will be prepared for this Sinhalese New Year celebration.

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