Monday, April 23, 2007

The Oil Anointing ceremony at the Vihara to celebrate Sri Lankan New Year

The most important date in Sri Lanka 's cultural calendar happened to be the same for Sri Lankans living in Scotland on Saturday the 14th April, 1007.

All Sri Lankans; Sinhalese, Tamils and Musilms got together at the Scotland¢s Buddhist Vihara on the New Year to perform religious rites to receive the blessings of the priest during nonagathaya.
It was so fascinating to witness the sight of a group of white pilgrims walking up from Glasgow Buddhist Centre,Sauchiehall Street, stopping to chant Dhamma at intervals on their way to the Vihara to join this ceremony with their Sri Lankan brothers and sisters.
The Sri Lankan New Year began to Scotland too with the lighting of hearth. Kiribath(Milk rice) was prepared at the Vihara itself and Sri Lankan family members enjoyed the first meal of this New Year at the Vihara. Scottish visitors were welcomed by the aroma of traditional Sri Lankan savoury dishes and plied with traditional sweetmeats.

Children then offered betel to their parents and elders as a token of love and gratitude and in return blessed. Elders too exchanged betel with each other transacting ganudenu and wishing good health and wealth in the New Year.

The festivities came to an end with the anointing of the oil ceremony. Venerable Rewatha and Dr Prem Sirisena anointed the gathering with herbal oil giving blessings for the New Year. A veteran Sinahala Media journalist Ms. Sumana Nellampitiya came all the way from Sri Lanka to capture this great event and was on air on 15th of April on SLRC in main News bulletin and on SLBC as well.

Sri Lankan community in Scotland had a memorable time being together, celebrating Avurudu, truly a celebration of life!