Traditional New Year Games in Sri Lanka: An Exciting Celebration of Avurudu Kreeda

Planning on visiting Sri Lanka during the New Year celebration and not sure what to expect? Did you know that this festive season is marked by exciting traditional games known as Avurudu Kreeda, a crucial component of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities? This blog will navigate you through these unique games, their cultural significance, rules for playing and how to fully immerse yourself in them.

Get ready to dive into an exhilarating world of fun, excitement and rich tradition!

Key Takeaways

  • Avurudu Kreeda is a traditional celebration in Sri Lanka during the New Year festivities.
  • Traditional outdoor games like Kotta Pora (Pillow – fighting) and Ankeliya (Tugging the horn) are played during Avurudu Kreeda.
  • These games bring joy, laughter, and unity among families and communities.
  • Participating in these games allows visitors to experience the cultural traditions of Sri Lanka firsthand.

Traditional Outdoor Games in Sri Lanka

Traditional outdoor games in Sri Lanka include Kotta Pora (Pillow-fighting), Ankeliya (Tugging the horn), Kana Mutti Bindeema (Breaking pots), Porapol Gaseema, Lissana Gaha Nageema (Climbing the greasy pole), and Banis Kaema (Bun eating contest).

Kotta Pora (Pillow-fighting)

Kotta Pora is a fun game played during Avurudu Kreeda in Sri Lanka. Two players balance on a log while trying to knock each other off with pillows. This pillow-fight tests your strength and balance.

It gathers lots of laughs from the crowd for its funny moments. This outdoor game brings joy and creates bonds among people during the New Year celebrations. Both young and old love this entertaining tradition.

Ankeliya (Tugging the horn)

Ankeliya, also known as Tugging the horn, is a thrilling outdoor game played during the New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka. It involves two teams pulling on opposite ends of a long and sturdy rope with all their strength.

The goal is to make the opposing team lose balance and fall over, while maintaining your own team’s stability. It requires teamwork, strategy, and physical strength. Ankeliya is not only an exciting competition but also a way for communities to come together and enjoy the festive spirit of Avurudu Kreeda.

So if you’re an adventure traveler looking for a unique cultural experience in Sri Lanka, be sure to participate in Ankeliya and feel the thrill of tugging that horn!

Kana Mutti Bindeema (Breaking pots)

One of the exciting outdoor games played during Avurudu Kreeda in Sri Lanka is Kana Mutti Bindeema, which means “Breaking pots.” In this game, clay pots filled with water are arranged one on top of another in a pyramid shape.

The challenge is to break these pots by throwing sticks or stones at them. It requires precision and accuracy to hit the target and break as many pots as possible. This game brings out the competitive spirit and tests players’ aiming skills.

It’s an exhilarating activity that adds fun and excitement to the festive celebrations of the Sinhala New Year in Sri Lanka.

Porapol Gaseema

Porapol Gaseema is another exciting traditional game played during the New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka. In this game, a large pole is set up with various food items, such as bananas, oranges, and sweets attached to it.

Participants compete by trying to grab as many items as possible while blindfolded and spun around. It’s a test of agility and quick reflexes as players try to catch the swinging treats.

This game brings laughter and joy to everyone involved and adds an element of fun and excitement to the New Year festivities.

Lissana Gaha Nageema (Climbing the greasy pole)

During the Avurudu Kreeda celebrations in Sri Lanka, one of the exciting outdoor games is Lissana Gaha Nageema, also known as “Climbing the greasy pole.” In this game, a tall wooden pole is covered with grease or oil.

The challenge is to climb up the slippery pole and grab the prize that’s hanging at the top. It requires strength, balance, and determination to make it to the top. Participants often cheer each other on as they attempt to reach their goal.

Lissana Gaha Nageema adds an element of adventure and competition to the festive atmosphere of New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka.

Banis Kaema (Bun eating contest)

In Sri Lanka, one of the exciting traditional games played during the New Year celebrations is the Banis Kaema, which is a bun eating contest. Participants gather around a table filled with buns and try to eat as many as they can within a given time limit.

It’s not just about gobbling down buns; there are rules to follow too! The person who finishes their bun first or eats the most buns wins. It’s a fun and competitive game that brings laughter and enjoyment to everyone involved.

So if you’re up for some delicious challenges during your adventure in Sri Lanka, don’t miss out on joining the Banis Kaema!

Significance of Avurudu Kreeda in Sri Lankan Culture

Avurudu Kreeda, or traditional New Year games, hold great significance in Sri Lankan culture. These games are an important part of the New Year celebrations, which take place on April 13th and 14th each year.

They bring families and communities together, fostering a sense of unity and joy. Avurudu Kreeda allows people to connect with their cultural roots and honor the traditions passed down through generations.

These games showcase the spirit of fun and excitement that surrounds the New Year festivities in Sri Lanka. They provide an opportunity for both young and old to participate in outdoor activities that promote physical fitness and mental agility.

Through Avurudu Kreeda, individuals learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance.

One popular game is Kotta Pora or pillow-fighting. Participants engage in friendly combat by swinging pillows at each other while trying to maintain balance on a wooden beam. Another thrilling game is Lissana Gaha Nageema or climbing the greasy pole.

Contestants climb a slippery log suspended horizontally over water bodies, testing their strength and dexterity.

Avurudu Kreeda also includes more relaxed indoor games like Ankeliya (Tugging the horn) where participants compete to pull down a hanging horn by using only their teeth! Additionally, Porapol Gaseema challenges players to kick a coconut shell towards several targets accurately.

By taking part in these traditional New Year games, visitors can immerse themselves in Sri Lankan culture while experiencing the festive atmosphere of Avurudu celebrations firsthand.

How to Play and Participate in Traditional New Year Games

To play and participate in traditional New Year games in Sri Lanka, follow these steps:

  • Gather your friends or family members to form a fun group.
  • Choose the game you want to play from a variety of indoor and outdoor games, such as Kotta Pora (Pillow-fighting) or Ankeliya (Tugging the horn).
  • Learn the rules of the game and make sure everyone understands them.
  • Prepare any props or equipment needed for the game, like pillows for Kotta Pora or horns for Ankeliya.
  • Find a suitable location to play, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
  • Start the game by following the instructions or guidelines provided.
  • Play with enthusiasm and enjoy the friendly competition with your teammates.
  • Follow fair play and good sportsmanship during the games.
  • Celebrate and cheer for each other’s achievements throughout the gameplay.
  • Have fun experiencing the traditional New Year games and embrace the cultural spirit they bring.

The Joy and Excitement of Avurudu Kreeda

Avurudu Kreeda, the traditional New Year games in Sri Lanka, are filled with joy and excitement. Imagine participating in thrilling outdoor games like Kotta Pora (Pillow-fighting), where you swing pillows at each other and laugh uncontrollably.

Or trying your strength in Ankeliya, a game of tugging the horn, where everyone competes to be the strongest. There’s also Kana Mutti Bindeema, where you break pots blindfolded with a stick while being cheered on by friends and family.

But that’s not all! You can witness the amazing Lissana Gaha Nageema (Climbing the greasy pole) challenge, as participants try their best to reach the top and claim victory. And don’t forget about Banis Kaema – competing to eat buns tied to a string without using hands!

The New Year festivities in Sri Lanka are full of these exciting traditional games that bring families together and create unforgettable memories. Whether it’s playing indoor or outdoor games, there is something for everyone during Avurudu Kreeda.

So get ready for an incredible celebration filled with joyous laughter, friendly competition, and lots of fun!


In conclusion, the traditional New Year games in Sri Lanka, known as Avurudu Kreeda, bring joy and excitement to the festivities. These outdoor and indoor games have been enjoyed for centuries and are an integral part of the cultural celebrations.

Whether it’s pillow-fighting or breaking pots, these games create a fun-filled atmosphere for family gatherings and community celebrations during the Avurudu Sinhala New Year. So, if you’re an adventure traveler looking for an exciting experience, don’t miss out on experiencing the thrill of Avurudu Kreeda in Sri Lanka!


1. What are some traditional New Year games in Sri Lanka?

Some traditional New Year games in Sri Lanka include pillow fighting, tug of war, coconut scraping race, and kotta pora (breaking a clay pot blindfolded).

2. How do people celebrate Avurudu Kreeda?

People celebrate Avurudu Kreeda by participating in traditional games, wearing new clothes, lighting oil lamps, preparing special meals, and exchanging gifts with friends and family.

3. Can anyone participate in the traditional New Year games?

Yes, anyone can participate in the traditional New Year games regardless of age or gender. It is a time for everyone to come together and enjoy the festive spirit.

4. Why are traditional New Year games important in Sri Lanka?

Traditional New Year games hold cultural significance as they promote community bonding, preserve ancient customs, teach teamwork and sportsmanship skills while adding joyous moments to the celebrations.

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