Dancing and delicacies to ring in the Sri Lankan New Year in Woodford Green

Children wore traditional outfits to the celebration

Children wore traditional outfits to the celebration - Credit: Archant

More than 400 people celebrated the Sri Lankan New Year at an event this week.

The festivities, hosted by the Redbridge Buddhist Centre, was held at Woodbridge High School, St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green.

Head monk Reverend Hemarana Pethigamuwe said the Sri Lankan New Year is always celebrated in April and usually on the 13th or 14th day of the month, and unlike Gregorian New Year, it marks the end of harvest.

“It was a very well organised event and everybody had a good time – MP (for Ilford North) Wes Streeting and Cllr Ross Hatful said it was one of the best events they had been to,” he said.

“There were lots of things going on including traditional Sri Lankan dancing, games and singing.”

There was also celebration treats and delicacies native to South Asia on offer.

The guests could sample kevum – a deep-fried sweet pastry made from rice flour and kithul treacle and kokis – a deep-fried crispy sweet made from rice flour and coconut milk.

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A special effort was made to decorate the room and volunteers spent time adorning the space with colours chosen to ring in the New Year.

“The children were given a present for the celebration and the older ones also got a certificate,” added Reverend Pethigamuwe.

“There were lots of Sunday school children, parents and members of the Sri Lankan community – it was great.”

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