SOME cultures celebrate a new year when the Gregorian calendar cycles back to January 1.
For Sri Lankans, festivities mark the start of another rotation through the 12 signs of the zodiac.
The transition from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries is a time for community-building traditions on the island nation.
Sri Lankan Fellowship in Bendigo president Arosha Kaluarachchi said the whole country followed a running sheet on April 14 structured around auspicious times, as determined by an astrologer.
Families would simultaneously light their fires and prepare the exact same meal, at the exact same time.
"Everyone would start to eat at the same time," Mr Kaluarachchi said.
Fire crackers would go off to signal the transition from one activity to the next.
Families would go from door to door throughout their communities sharing food platters.
"Everyone's offering you things," Mr Kaluarachchi said.
READ MORE: Sri Lankan new year a time to start again
It was a time when he said families came together, and repairing broken relationships with other community members was encouraged.
In an agricultural society, Mr Kaluarachchi said New Year festivities were a reminder everyone's help was needed for a community to thrive.
Because April 14 is a day steeped in tradition, he said another day during the month was often selected as a day for games and activities.
The Sri Lankan Fellowship in Bendigo will be celebrating the start of the new year on Saturday.
Mr Kaluarachchi said the festivities would involve traditional Sri Lankan food and games.
An estimated 60 - 80 families are attached to the Sri Lankan Fellowship in Bendigo.
Mr Kaluarachchi said the Tamil community in Bendigo had been invited to join in the fun, and word was starting to spread through school and church groups.
About 100 people are expected to attend, but Mr Kaluarachchi said all were welcome.
He just asked that people give an indication of their attendance, so there would be enough food.
"We just want to showcase the culture," Mr Kaluarachchi said.
The event runs from about 9am - 3pm on Saturday at St Therese's Primary School in Kennington.
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