Batticaloa culture Hindu festivals
In Batticaloa as well as well as other parts of North and eastern Sri lanka, Hinduism is closely linked to the typical cultural structures of the state of Tamil Nadu. Most of the Tamils of Batticaloa are Hindus, their festivals have been understood in the light of Hindu legends and customs. While some festivals are based on the solar calendar, the date never changes for others the month of the festival are the same with deferent dates. There are around 850 registered Hindu temples in the district and a strong Hindu population of 420,000 persons out of the total population of 600,000. Here are some Hindu festivals celebrated in Batticaloa which are also widely celebrated elsewhere in Sri lanka.
Thai Ponkal festival
The festival which falls on the month of January is celebrated on the 14th. The colorful two-day “Harvest Festival” is celebrated grandly among the Tamils, houses have kolam (artwork on the floor using flour) members of the family ware new cloths, old belongings are thrown-away, new things bought; houses are washed, painted and decorated with banana and mango leaves. Pongal is celebrated to honour Surya the sun god. Prayer rituals called Pujai are held in temples and then the first grains harvested from their fields are cooked with milk in a clay pot. The milk rice (paal shoru) is allowed to boil-over, signifying abundance.On the following day, (Mattu Pongal) the cattle that contribute to their livelihood are honored.
The feast festival of Navarattiri (nine nights), which is special to women, falls between September to October. Navaratri is celebrated to honour the three saktis (powers) of God, embodied as Parvati, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Three nights are dedicated to each goddess. It is ended with Saraswathipucai and Vijayadasami, the tenth day from the full moon. Overnight pujas are conducted at kovils around Batticaloa.
Deepavali, the festival of lights is celebrated to mark the victory of light over darkness or good over evil. It falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in Aipasi October – November. The day is begun by a ritual bath at sunrise, which is alike having a bath in the sacred river Ganga.
Hinduism – perhaps the oldest religion in the world – can be confusing to Westerners used to neat, somewhat straight forward religious principles. Hinduism beliefs can encompass a great amount of differing opinions. Here, then, we give you perhaps the top 15 Hindu beliefs that may be of interest in understanding this religion.
Teachings at Hindu Temples Batticaloa
1. The Meaning of Life
Unlike Westerners, many Hindus believe in not one meaning or purpose in life, but many. These correspond to different stages in one’s life. You should (1) fulfill your purpose – or what you were put on this world to achieve. (2) You should reach personal prosperity in the worldly arena. (3) You should have enjoyment, and fulfil your sexual and other desires, and (4), you should reach enlightenment, or ‘Moksha’.
This four purposes of life successfully balances human and spiritual needs, and is thus a less dogmatic religion than many others.
Hindus generally believe that everything is subject to law and effect – everything you think, say or do has an effect. Hence, your future (for good or ill) will be dependent on these things.
3. All Life is Sacred
As all of life is created by God, all life is sacred. You should not harm any creature – and particularly ‘Holy’ animals, such as cows, which represent the selfless love of God to its people. Indeed, one should not even think or speak badly towards others, due to karma.
This is one of the reasons one of the most famous Hindus, Mahhatma (great soul) Ghandi, practiced nonviolence to overthrow British rule in India – it was born of both of religious and logical reasons.
Hindus believe that after death the soul is reincarnated, according to our past good or bad karma. Humans can become animals, and vice versa. Indeed – the whole universe is in a constant cycle of change and regeneration.
Because this cycle is endless, all souls will eventually ‘burn out’ their bad karma, and reach salvation, or ‘moksha’.
8. Cremation and Holy Rivers
9. Bathing and Purification
10. You Can’t Become a Hindu! But…
Traditionally you cannot ‘become’ a Hindu – you are born into it only. However this has not prevented many westerners calling themselves Hindus.
This article is being updated to reflect “the most important Hinduism beliefs, in the clearest everyday language. Clear, intelligent and helpful information to assist everyone’s understanding of …” what Hinduism is, how it compares to other religions, and how you can incorporate it into your life.Where possible we quote from people’s favorite Hindu books, with links to them if you would like them for yourself.
Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs is responsible to promote culture in the country. In the Batticaloa District the responsibility of handling Culture is with the Cultural Unit of the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs, Land Development. Given the challenges inherent in diversity of the people and their languages, and the plurality of faiths and belief systems, it is essential to embark on a planned development of cultural conservation and promotion activities in Batticaloa eastern Sri lanka.
There is a need for a long-term plan to promote all forms of art and culture and it should have an equal footing and deserve financial and other support. There are many problems, issues and challenges standing in the way of cultural development in Batticaloa. It includes: lack of funds and infrastructure to implement programmes; no attempts were made to preserve traditional Art and Craft; no research on cultural development; war and its effect on the lives of people and distrust, lack of understanding, peace and harmony between the different communities.
Culture Development Plans
Encourage citizens to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture and promote peace, ethnic harmony and overall development
• Promote performing and visual arts & provide necessary infrastructure
• II. Develop a provincial Bibliographic Database in electronic format to encourage resource sharing,
• Preserve archaeological heritage, historic sites and develop monument complexes and promote tourism connected to culture
• Identify/ promote vanishing folk art traditions in rural/semi-urban areas of the