Yesterday was full moon day, and the Buddhists here in Sri Lanka celebrate that day with a special ceremony.
We’ve now learned that you’re not supposed to eat eggs on a full moon day, and it’s very good to go to the temple and make offerings – especially at around 6 pm.
The family had invited us to come, and told us that it was good to wear white. So we did.
And by Anders wearing a sarong, and I having a white shirt with batik patterns, people were commenting on how Sri Lankan we looked ;-).
After walking to the village temple we were given flowers to put on the stands in front of the pictures of different gods. Then we walked to a monastary where we got a place in a long line of people, where everybody was supposed to touch and carry the many baskets and trays of offerings before they were handed into the temple.
Above our heads, huge bats started to fly off into the sky when it turned dark. Close to the temple site was a cobra nest (!), and we had to walk quickly between all the statues and holy places to keep up with the others… Oil lamps, incense sticks and flowers – we did it all.
Afterwards we were invited to have what Malika, the amma (mother) of the family calls a small dinner… It’s always lots of food! On a full moon, milk-rice and sambal is good to eat, and we also got coconut roti (bread), fish curry and shrimp. Fresh pinapple and bananas for dessert.
This dinner was very special, since for the first time almost all members of the family ate together with us! The men took turns at sitting by the table, and the women sat on chairs beside or behind us. Usually we as guests eat separately, and the family comes in to talk a little, put on more food on our plates and then eat after we have left. Now that has changed, and it feels good!
When leaving the dinner we got two coconuts to bring to the hotel, to drink today. And when finally getting through, they were very good!
// Wivan and Anders