The hefty infographic below is YAMU’s Avurudu Litha, or list of auspicious times.
The Auspicious Times (In Text)
- Saturday April 12th – Last bath of the year
- Sunday April 13th – Official holiday
- Monday April 14th – Transit of the sun
- 1:31 AM – Sun begins to move, avoid all but religious activities
- 7:37 AM – Sun is halfway there, marks the dawn of the New Year
- 10:17 AM – Light the hearth and start cooking, wearing white and facing south
- 11:05 AM – Eat, exchange money and gifts, go visiting, etc
- 2:01 PM – The Sun is safely in its new house. The new year has official begin
- Tuesday April 15th – Not an official holiday, but most offices give it off
- Wednesday April 16th
- 11:16 AM – Ceremonially oil your head. Color to wear is green and the direction is south
- Thursday April 17th
- 6:16 AM – Ceremonially return to work. Color is gold and direction is north-west
The next day (Friday) is Good Friday. It’s not a mercantile holiday, but in effect the entire week is off.
Note our distinction between astrology and astronomy. We’re experts in neither, so fully open to comments, but based on observation of the current position of the sun (through pointing the Night Sky app in it’s direction) it doesn’t look like it’s going to completely transition within a day. This article by Viduranga Waisundara is worth a read on the subject.
You can’t see it with your naked eye, but if you point an app at the direction of the sun (you don’t need to point directly at it, it can even be under the earth) you can indeed see that the sun is ‘in’ the constellation Pisces and is moving towards Aries. ‘In’ is of course a relative term, the nearest star in Pisces is 14 million light years away and the Sun is only ‘in’ it from our perspective on earth.
What ancient astrology did capture was that this movement of the stars coincided with a time when “”trees bear fruits and flowers blossom – a sign of fertility”” (Waisundara).
Culturally the practices around this movement of the stars is quite wonderful. Sri Lankans take the time to unite around the family unit, to all start the day and have their first meal at the same time and then to re-engage with their community on a clean slate. In practice, the giving of gifts and paying respects can wipe away a lot of the quarrels of the old year and bring people closer together. It’s a beautiful time.
Subha Aluth Avuruddak Weva, from everyone at YAMU.