The annual New Year festival organized by the Sri Lanka Navy in view of Sinhala and Tamil New Year, was held at SLNS Gemunu in Welisara, yesterday (10th April).
The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva and the President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs. Arundathie Udithamala Jayanetti graced the occasion as chief guests. After ceremonially hoisting the national flag by the chief guest followed by national anthem, the proceeding of the festival commenced.
Chief of Staff of the Navy Rear Admiral Jagath Ranasinghe, Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander Western Naval Area Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenna, Director Generals, members of NSVU, senior and junior officers of NHQ and WNC, large number of naval personnel, their family members and civil servants of Navy were also present at the event.
The colorful festival consisted of not only the traditional happenings associated with the New Year, but also the games and fun-filled activities unique to the New Year season. Accordingly, the customs unique to the occasion had taken the centre stage and it included folk games and fun filled activities like Marathon, Beating traditional drums (Raban), Tug of war, Eating buns, selecting new year princess etc. The games gave the participants a very good experience of the cultural practices handed down from generation to generation to preserve the Sri Lanka's rich heritage. The organizers had created a village in the ground to give an authentic experience.
The New Year trade-fair conducted by the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Sri Lanka Navy also took place adjacent to the festival venue and it was graced by former president of NSVU Mrs. Sandhya Ranasinghe with former Commander of the Navy Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe as chief guests. After lighting, the traditional oil lamp by chief guests the participants had the opportunity of purchasing a wide range of consumer goods including dry ration, clothes, vegetable, fruit etc, at considerably reduced prices.
A grand musical show which was attended by the popular musical stars of the country marked the end of the New Year celebrations.