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Excitement reigned in Seenigama as traditional games and events were held to mark Aluth Avurudu, a festival which is widely known as the Sinhala Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka which heralds the sun entering Aries from Pisces.

Spirits are always high in April when age old customs and traditions associated with Aluth Avurudu come into focus and it is all the more exciting for children as this festival on the 12th & 13th April, falls in the middle of the first term school holidays.

Asian Int. School returns to Seenigama
for Aluth Avurudu Festival

Celebrations to welcome the Aluth Avurudu are many and so it is not unusual for such events to be held even a couple of weeks after the dawn of the New Year. So it was on the 5th of April that a group of children from the Asian International School’s (AIS) Interact Club returned to join in the fun and festive games at Seenigama, after an enjoyable day spent here the previous Avurudu season.

The festival began at 9:30 AM with the customary lighting of the lamp and a traditional dance performance. No sooner these were performed, the 35 AIS students and 150 children FROM Seenigama, Werallana and Udumulla stepped right into the action of the 10 events that were planned for the day.

Avurudu games in progress

From ‘conquering the greasy pole’ to ‘pillow fights’ to ‘blind mans bluff’, ‘tug-o-war’ and ‘musical chairs’ it was a fun filled day as the children partook in the competitive events that have been staged throughout the ages from generation to generation.

Last year the AIS Interact Committee was inspired to do something for Seenigama and thus organized the Aluth Avurudu festival after viewing a presentation by Kushil Gunasekera the founder/trustee of the Foundation of Goodness, who was one of the speakers at a school assembly.

Speaking on this fun filled day Gunasekera expressed joy and gratitude that the AIS students had returned to Seenigama to celebrate Avurudu for a second consecutive year. “This is the second time that the AIS Interact Club has taken this as one of their key projects – sponsoring the traditional Avurudu festivities of rural children, and what a great sight it is to see the affluent and privileged children interacting with their less privileged sisters and brothers in making this day most memorable. In the process the AIS students are learning all of the cultural tradition that exists in villages on account of the Sinhala Tamil New Year.“

More fun in the sun at the Avurudu Festival
held at the Seenigama Oval grounds

Winning the events is not the crowning glory of an Aluth Avurudu festival as much as participation, integration and camaraderie. The day’s proceedings were watched keenly by the teachers in charge of the Interact Club, who accompanied the AIS girls and boys. The final event of the day was the traditional crowning of the Avurudu prince and princess.

It was certainly a day that all the children of the three villages and those that visited from AIS would remember fondly until more joyous memories are created at Aluth Avurudu 2009.

The Foundation of Goodness hopes and wishes that this Aluth Avurudda will overflow with milk and honey for everyone.

“There is no greater joy or greater reward
than to make a fundamental difference
in someone’s life”