Diversity Day-Indian/Sri Lankan New Year
9am-10am: Welcome by hosts
10 am-11:30 am: Open house-please walk in and enjoy the food. Descriptions of food & traditions will be placed on the tables.
Below is some information on the significance of the festival:
The New Year celebrates the arrival of Spring which occurs in mid-April in South Asia. That day coincides with the Sun’s entrance into the constellation Mesha (Aries), the first sign in the Indian/Sri Lankan astrology. Following this astrological calculation, the celebration falls on April 14 in most years.
On this day, people don new clothes, exchange sweets, gifts and greetings of goodwill. They clean their homes and decorate the entrance and shrine room with beautiful, colorful patterns. They visit temples for blessings. In some communities, elders give money to youth and children as a token of good luck. Families feast together with great revelry, enjoying elaborate dishes and good company. People gather to listen to interpretations of the star’s positions and predictions of things to come, for in this culture, the calendar is closely interwoven with astrology.
The Tamil new year, celebrated in Tamil Nadu (India) and parts of Sri Lanka, it is known as ‘Puthandu’.
The Telugu New Year, celebrated by some of the southern states in India, it is known as ‘Ugadi’.
The Bengali New Year, celebrated in the eastern states of India and in Bangladesh is known as ‘Nabh Barsho’.