Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda (Sinhala: අලුත් අවුරුද්ද) in Sri Lanka, is a Sri Lankan holiday that celebrates the traditional New Year of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans. The timing of the Sinhala New Year coincides with the New Year celebrations of many traditional calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festival has close semblance to the Tamil New year and other South and Southeast Asian New Years. It is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. It is generally celebrated on 13 April or 14 April and traditionally begins at the sighting of the new moon.
According to Sinhalese astrology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest season and of spring.
Cultural anthropological history of the ‘Traditional New Year’ which is celebrated in the month of April goes back to an ancient period in Sri Lankan history. People think that the celebration of New Year is the change of thoughts too. Various beliefs, perhaps those associated with fertility of the harvest, gave birth too many rituals, customs, and ceremonies connected with the New Year. The advent of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC led to a re-interpretation of the existing New Year activities in the Buddhism light The majority of the people in the country are Buddhists, and as such, the Buddhistic outlook was predominant in transforming the New Year rites to what they are now.