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The Sri Lankan New Year Celebration organised by the Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple was held at the Hounslow Lampton School, Lampton Avenue, Hounslow, TW3 4EP on 11th April 2015. Venerable Wanduramba Kassapa , Head of the Centre welcomed the gathering followed by a speech based on Sinhala New Year in Sri Lanka

This New Year Celebration, which is becoming one of the annual events embracing all of the people of the region, had been organized for the fifth successive year by the Heathrow Athula Dassana Buddhist Temple.

New Year games took part under the guidance of Mr Bandara Wakadapola with the help of committee members of the temple. There were approximately 50 games which were related with the New Year. Not only for the younger generation but also had for any age limits. Everyone enjoyed participating in the Traditional Sri Lankan New year games such as breaking the clay pot blindfolded, sack race, spotting the elephant’s eye, blowing balloons, pillow fights, guessing the amount of  seeds in a Papaya, were very popular with the games on the day. 

The day generated much needed funds; and enjoyment amongst the adults as well as the children present, highlighted the event. 

The Chief Guest of the opening ceremony were Dr HE Chanaka Thalpahewa, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Seema Malhothra Heston and Feltham MP, Mr Simon Nayyar - Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Heston and Feltham, as well as  the Mayor of Harrow - Councillor Ajay Maru. The traditional lighting of the oil lamp marked the commencement of the evening session. After lighting of the traditional Oil lamp, prizes were handed to the winners by the guests who also participated on this occasion.

The chief guest Dr HE Chanaka Thalpahewa, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka,  addressed the gathering and was pleased that within this short period of time a young high priest of the UK Ven Wanduramba Kassapa could be able to organise a successful New Year festival for the Children and Elders in this Country. He very much appreciated the invitation to the event and gave thanks for the organising committee of the temple.

The prize giving ceremony and cultural show started at 5.00 PM, all the guest were brought to the Audience hall whilst the ceremonial dancing was being played. 

The Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple Dancing group” Saro”, Roshan Lute lead with his group and presented items highlighting the New Year of Sri Lanka. Also The children of the Dhamma school joined several events of this programme.  

All the participants had an opportunity to taste delicious traditional Sri Lankan sweets such as Athirasa, Kokis, Konda Kavum and Mung Kavum and other foods. 

The main sponsors of the event were Estetica Dental Clinic, TSL Exchange, Vonmack Engineering and GG Shipping, whose support was greatly appreciated.

For the New Year Celebration Festival, more than 1500 visitors came to enjoy the Sri Lankan events and also taste the Sri Lankan foods.

Maheshi Kokila, Chanaka Samarakoon, Nuresha Lakmini, Manisha Fernando, Thisara Wijegunawardhana and Nirma Dharmawardhana were the commentators of the festival. Sound management was done by Rohan Fernando, Photography and Video By Mr Jayasanka, Asanka Hemachandra and Malitha Kapirana, Advertising & Computer Design By Thisara Wijegunawardena.

The event was a remarkable success and brought both enjoyment and the opportunity for the wide variety of people of different backgrounds to come together.

Finally, Ven Wanduramba Kassapa Thero Wishes all and everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!


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