It is April, again!
April is one of the months Sri Lankans eagerly await! The reason underlying this warm welcome is that Sinhala and Tamil New Year, the most celebrated national festival falls during this time. It possesses a significant value as it creates harmony amongst divergent religions as well as it has been developed through various traditions and values treasured by Sri Lankans.
When one thinks about the rituals that are observed during this festival, it could be noticed that each ritual has its own significance. Numerous auspicious times and related actions prescribed by the astrologers attempt to direct the behaviors of humans and discipline them to be modest during the festive season. People might give prominence to such aspects as a result of what they have been taught by the elders or it could be merely out of habit. Nevertheless, if we take a moment to reflect upon the essence of these traditions, undoubtedly there will be many more values that can be added to our lifestyles and personalities. Why do we say so?
If we consider the entire concept of following auspicious times, it is obvious that they direct people to have patience, work on time and be prepared for the moment. Thinking beyond the festival, if we incorporate these qualities to our daily routine, we might possibly see a change in our work and home life, as well! Each New Year activity has a certain time dedicated to it and people naturally learn to wait for that moment to arrive to proceed. These customs can also be translated into our behaviors. Having a schedule in place with what is needed to be done, whether at work or at home could reduce the impact of unnecessary stresses. Being spontaneous is never a bad idea. Yet, being organized and prepared for what is predictable is also important.
Sinhala and Tamil New Year enlightens children and reminds elders of the values of preserving relationships. It is a festival that unifies all the relatives and friends. All the activities and games that are taken place during the period strengthen our bonds. Do not renew bonds for the sake of the New Year, but rather, embrace and adore your loved ones as a part of your life. Maintaining healthy relationships and being selfless will certainly create tranquillity within us.
Hence, when we further evaluate the true meaning of Sinhala and Tamil New Year, one may notice that it is not just another festival celebrated annually but rather a handbook which guides us to lead a quality life. As Louis L’Amour once stated, “the only constant thing is the fact that everything gets changed, this season, we should make a change in the way we look at things.” One doesn’t necessarily have to be a great philosopher to discover the value in things. It is the small acts we do that matter. Showing respect to traditions and following them are greatly appreciated. Yet, at the same time, we should take a moment to make our lives more fruitful. It will not be upstream since we Sri Lankans are accustomed to the auspicious times and activities. It is only a matter of bringing the substance of these festival related aspects into the limelight, and utilize them to ripen our lives.