Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawns today; ‘Punya Kaalaya’ begins

Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawns today; ‘Punya Kaalaya’ begins

April 13, 2024   02:41 pm

The inauspicious time (Punya Kaalaya or Nonagathaya) of 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year commenced a short while ago at 2.41 p.m. and is slated to end at 3.29 a.m. tomorrow (14). Sri Lankans are set to celebrate the dawn of the traditional New Year this year at 9.05 p.m. today (13).

The New Year, known as ‘Aluth Avurudda’ in Sinhala, and ‘Puththandu’ in Tamil, is celebrated by both communities by observing various rituals and customs.

According to traditional astrological belief, the Sun completes its movement across the twelve segments of the Zodiac in the course of a year taking one month to travel each constellation. 

The transition of the Sun from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries marks the beginning of the New Year (Aluth Avurudu).

A number of customs and traditional beliefs are associated with Avurudu celebrations in Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese are influenced by astrological faiths and perform several religious practices during this time.

This year, deciding on the best date for the New Year celebrations was marred by a disputation among the 42-member group of astrologers employed by the Cultural Affairs Ministry, with one of them accusing the others of misinterpreting the position of stars.

Despite the majority setting the dawn of the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year on the night of April 13, one astrologer claimed that this ‘auspicious’ time was wrong and would lead the country into “disaster.”

Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs issued a special statement regarding the matter, urging the public to follow the official list of auspicious times issued by the State Astrologers’ Committee.

Auspicious times of 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year are as below:

Dawn of the New Year
New Year will dawn at 9.05 p.m. on 13 April (Saturday)

Inauspicious Time (‘Punya Kaalaya’ or ‘Nonagathaya’) 
Punya Kalaya or inauspicious time begins at 2.41 p.m. on 13 April (Saturday) and ends at 3.29 a.m. on 14 April (Sunday)

Preparation of Meals
Preparing meals for the New Year should begin at 11.06 p.m. on 13 April (Saturday). Light the hearth, clad in blue-coloured clothes while facing the direction of the south. Prepare milk rice mixed with sesame, pure sugarcane jaggery as well as sweetmeats containing sesame.

Commencing Work, Transactions and Partaking in Meals
14 April (Sunday) at 12.06 a.m. clad in blue-coloured clothes and facing the direction of south

Anointing Oil
15 April (Monday) at 10.17 a.m. clad in white while facing the direction of south

Leaving for Work
17 April (Wednesday) at 6.52 a.m., clad in green-coloured clothes while facing north when leaving the house

Planting of Tree Saplings
18 April (Thursday) at 10.16 a.m., clad in golden-coloured clothes while facing the direction of east

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