Ceylon's New York - the date varies annually - was celebrated this year on Apr 13 with traditional religious rites, meals, and games.
LV Worshippers flocking to temple
MS Pagoda of temple
MS People offer flowers etc. at altar
MS Temple front
CU Woman lights oil lamp in house
MS Children read text-books for a few minutes
MLS Father serves food to children
MS People beating a big drum
MLS Ox-carts getting ready for race
LS Ox-cart race
LS REAR V..DITTO
MS Winning ox-cart
ms Coco-nut scrapping competition in progress
CU One competitor
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ceylon's New York - the date varies annually - was celebrated this year on Apr 13 with traditional religious rites, meals, and games. Co-incidence of New Year with completion of harvesting lends extra gaiety to this festival.
Sinhalese begin the day by visiting a temple, where many make offerings of flowers, hoping for a successful New Year. Later, each family dons new clothes and gathers for a special meal. The senior member serves his kinsfolk with a portion of "Kiribath" - boiled rice mixed with thick coco-nut milk - and says a blessing over each.
When the meal is digested, active pleasures follow. Putting aside modern games - like hockey and cricket - the Sinhalese revert to traditional sports; good-natured but normally slow-moving oxen are conscripted for ox-cart races; and women turn an everyday task into pleasure - seeing who is the fastest coco-nut-scraper.