Avurudu or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a time of festivity and celebration for Sri Lankan communities worldwide. It is a time to gather with family, friends and loved ones, and indulge in traditional games and activities that are unique to the culture and heritage of the island nation. From board games to outdoor activities, here are some of the most popular games played during Avurudu.

  1. Kotta Pora (Pillow Fight) – Kotta Pora or the pillow fight is a fun-filled activity enjoyed by young and old during Avurudu. It involves two teams, each standing on either end of a long pole with a pillow tied to one end. The objective of the game is to knock down the opponents by hitting them with the pillow while trying to maintain balance on the pole.

  2. Kana Mutti Bindeema (Blindfolded Pot Breaking) – Kana Mutti Bindeema is a game that tests one’s precision and balance. Blindfolded participants are spun around and then directed towards a clay pot placed on the ground. The objective is to break the pot with a stick while blindfolded, adding to the excitement and challenge of the game.

  3. Olinda Keliya (Coconut Relay Race) – Olinda Keliya is a relay race that involves passing a coconut from one team member to another using only their feet. The team that completes the race in the fastest time wins.

  4. Gudu Keliya (Egg and Spoon Race) – Gudu Keliya is an egg and spoon race, where participants balance an egg on a spoon and race to the finish line without dropping it. The winner is the participant who reaches the finish line first with the egg still on the spoon.

  5. Kotta Porak (Tug-of-War) – Kotta Porak or the tug-of-war is a game that requires teamwork, coordination and strength. Two teams pull on either end of a rope, with the objective of pulling the other team across a designated line.

  6. Pancha Keliya (Five Stones) – Pancha Keliya is a traditional game that involves five small stones or pebbles. The objective is to throw and catch the stones in a particular sequence, testing one’s hand-eye coordination.

  7. Goni Billa (sack race) – In this game, participants hop in a sack or a gunny bag to the finish line, and the first person to cross the line wins the game.

  8. Kana Mutti Kumariya (blindfolded pinning of the flower on the Kumariya) – In this game, a picture of a young girl (Kumariya) is drawn, and players are blindfolded before they try to pin a flower on the picture. The person who pins the flower closest to the correct spot on the picture wins the game.


These are just a few examples of the fun games and activities that take place during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, there are so many more!

Planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Experience the vibrant celebration of Avurudu, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, and indulge in its exciting traditional games and activities! This cultural festival, held in mid-April, is a time of joy and festivities, with colorful decorations, delicious traditional foods, and fun games.