There are traditional games people engage in during the festive
season. We hear the sound of the raban and joyous laughter, especially
of children mingling with the melodious call of the koel during this
all the age-old rituals connected with the New Year these games are
enjoyed by all. There are Avurudu Ulelas, where many people participate
in traditional games.
These games are different from games played at other times. Pancha
keliya, onchili pedeema, kalagedi sellama, olinda keliya and porapol
geheema, mallawa pora, ali pora, gon pora, lanupora addima, rilapeti
pedima and daadu gasima are some of the games. They bring fun and joy
and teach us the value of team spirit.
This is a popular game. Pancha is played with five small seashells, a
coconut shell and a chart. Players are divided into two groups.
This is famous among women, where a swing is tied on a strong branch
of a tree in the garden. Sometimes there are two people seated on the
swing while another person keeps swaying the swing back and forth while
singing special verses known as onchili waram, also known as varang kavi.
festive game is mainly in Avurudu Ulelas. Here a row of pots are hung
while the participants are blindfolded and select the pot which contains
a specific item. The winner is the person who hits the correct pot.
Placing the eye on an elephant
It is an enjoyable experience where participants are blindfolded and
have to spot the elephant’s eye.
The Olinda Keliya verse is sung at time,
Olinda thibenne koi koi dese,
Olinda thibenne bangali dese.....
Genath handanne koi koi dese,
Genath handanne Sinhala dese...
Two players participate in this game where nine holes are placed on
either side of a horizontal board. The player who collects the most
number of seeds is the winner.
Beating the rabana to the tune of Dontha babakkata denna deyakna,
Pettagamak uda thutu dekak atha, children play the rabana to different
In the bun-eating competition a row of buns is strung on a line, to
be eaten without using hands.
Climbing the greasy pole-Lissana gaha nageema
A very long timber pole made out of a puwak tree, about 10 metres
high, is fixed into the ground. At the top of the pole money is placed
or sometimes just a flag. However the pole has been rubbed with thick
slimy grease along its whole length. The first person to climb to the
top claims the money.However, repeated attempts are made with some of
the grease being removed on each attempt until finally, when all the
grease has been removed, the last person can climb to the top and claim
There are many more festive games and many people from grown ups to
children take part in these games.