ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended wishes for renewal for the traditional New Year celebrated by Sri Lanka's Sinhalese and Tamil communities.
"The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is the foremost national festivity celebrated across the country in the splendour of the spring," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
"It provides the ideal setting to deepen relationships with each other and share our cultural heritage."
The festival based on the solar year, is celebrated across South and South East Asian nations with Indianized Hindu-Buddhist cultures, many of which have been colonized or been part of Indian empires.
Sri Lanka's Sinhalese community calls it the Aluth Avurudda.
"Aluth Avurudda' is indeed an introduction of a new human with a new vision and new attitude to the society," President Sirisena said in a message.
It is an important festival among Tamil people in India as well as Sri Lanka, (Puthandu).
Twitter released a new Puthandu emoji. The emoji will appear for hashtags #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu (Malayalam).
The festival is also celebrated by the peoples of Assam (Bohag Bihu), Odisha (Pana Sankranti), Arunachal Pradesh (Sangken), Thailand (Songkran) and Myanmar (Thingyan).