New Year in Sri Lanka or the Sinhala New Year - Aluth Avurudhu usually falls on April 13th or 14th every year. According to Sinhalese mythology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Aries) to Mesha Rashiya. It also marks the end of the harvest and spring. Rains enlivens the spirit of the nature as flowers bloom, trees get laden with fruits and bounties of farmers are full. Sinhalese New Year Rituals Sinhalese New Year or Aluth Avurudhu rituals begin with observance of Nonagathe. At this time, people consider it to be inauspicious to engage in any activity. They go to temples and perform religious rites to receive the blessings of the priests. Women in villages congregate to play rabana (drums) to announce the time to start performing New Year rituals. Auspicious Bath People begin the New Year by taking a ceremonial bath on the last day of the old year. They apply Nanu (a herbal mixture) on their head and body before bathing. This herbal is supposed to purify the body and soul. Betel Another custom of offering betel to the parents and elders is considered as a token of love and gratitude. Elders feel accepted and cared by their children and give them blessings in return. New Year Cuisine Food is the essential part of New Year festivities in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese food is very rich in nutrition. They prepare sweet meats such as mung kavum, konda kavum and unduvel. There is also an old tradition of preparing Kiri Bhaat (milk rice) with rice from new crop. It is prepared by the father or the male head of the family. All the family members sit together to enjoy the lavish feast on the New Years day.