Mid April beckons intense preparation
Sinhalese & Tamils spare no expense in celebration
Floors polished; houses spring cleaned
Rice flour pounded & sweetmeats cooked
Larders stocked & gardens tidied
With April showers the Lankan New Year is heralded
Temple bells will be peeling, ushering in the New Year
Devotees flock to temples for worship & prayer.
Milk rice bubbling on the hearth lit at auspicious time
Young girls sit around rabans beating to rhythm & rhyme
Beetle leaves are offered to elders with love & respect
Wishes exchanged in anticipation of a year with great prospects.
An auspicious colour for the New Year, by the powers be is chosen
All dress in new clothes which are home stitched or woven
Among many physical pursuits, Tug of War is a favourite game
A Prince & Princess is crowned & bask in the Avrudu fame.
Fire crackers are lit; they produce a deafening sound
Sweet meats exchanged as plates are sent around
At the auspicious time, families sit for a festive feast
Tables laden with rare delicacies; indeed a welcome treat.
United the Sinhalese & Tamils, celebrated the dawn of the New Year
There was no violence or disharmony; & certainly never any fear
From my childhood in Lanka, I remember this as the New Year
I doubt these still happen, due to traumas in recent years.
I yearn for those good old days, when the community spirit did reign
We enjoyed as innocent children, oblivious to ethnicity & origin
If I could make only one wish, for Sri Lanka this next New Year
It would be for peace & harmony as enjoyed in those yester years.