Modern day activities related to Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations are based on auspicious times calculated by the astrologers. The time gap between the conclusion of one year and the beginning of another marks the ‘Nonagathe’, the inauspicious period also referred to as ‘Punya Kalaya’. During the Punya Kalaya everyone is expected to finish up mundane duties and partake in religious activities.

New Year activities begin with the lighting of the hearth and preparation of the first meal of the New Year followed by ‘ganu denu’, marked usually by the exchange of money among close associates,  worshiping the elders and gift-giving.

Observing the New Moon
It is favourable to observe the New Moon on Friday, April 8, 2016 and Sunday, May 08, 2016.

Bathing in the Old Year
It is suitable to bathe in the Old Year on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 shampooing head with margosa leaf juice and spending the rest of the day engaged in religious activities.

Dawn of the New Year
The Sinhala New Year dawns at 7.48 pm on Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

Auspicious times
Auspicious period begins at 1.24 pm on Wednesday, April 13 and ends at 2.12 am on April 14. It is recommended that all household activities including partaking meals be stopped before 1.24 pm on Wednesday, April 13 and engage in religious observances. During the latter part of the auspicious period between 7.48 pm on April 13 and 2.12 am on April 14 it is advised to initiate work, engage in transactions and partake the New Year meal.

Cooking of milk rice
It is advised to light the hearth at 8.06 pm on Wednesday, April 13 facing south wearing green clothes and preparing ghee-mixed milk rice with green gram mixed sweetmeat accompaniment.

Commencement of work, transactions and partaking meals
On Wednesday, April 13 at 8.54 pm, it is recommended to start work, initiate transactions and partake meals looking towards south clad in green clothes.

Anointing oil
Bath is recommended at 10.41 am on Saturday, April 16 clad in blue dress looking towards west keeping banyan leaves on head and standing on karanda leaves applying gingelly oil mixed with banyan leaf juice on head.

Leaving for work in New Year
Auspicious time to leave for work in the New Year is on Monday, April 18 at 6.27 am dressed in white clothes having partaken a meal of milk rice mixed with curd.


  • Astrology is an ancient geocentric concept which has absolutely no impact on anyone except via the placebo effect which influences the faithful. The point on ecliptic that is selected as the first point of Aries in Sri Lanka is well within the constellation of Pisces in the observed Sky, not on border with Aries. It happens to be the position of the Sun on the Spring equinox of CE 282 March 21st. The year of King Mahasena’s Coronation. This definition has moved New Year by one day on average every 70.56 years on Gregorian Calendar to April 13-14th due to Precession of Equinox. Remember it was 12-13th about 50 years ago. We need a practical definition for the cultural event, not locked into meaningless astrology..