New Year pillow fight
It might seem odd to some, but celebrating the New Year with a pillow fight in April is common place in the deep south.
About 160 people from throughout Southland celebrated the Sinhala and Hindu New Year at the Invercargill Blind Foundation Hall on Sunday.
The celebrations were run by the community group We Sri Lankans.
Group member Esther Smith said people travelled from as far as Balclutha, Mossburn and Bluff to participate in festivities.
‘‘It’s part of our culture. It’s very special,’’ Smith said.
The event was traditionally run on April 13 and 14, but because of time restraints and venue availability, they had to postpone the event to last Sunday.
About 12 different games were held on the day, she said.
The favourite events were the Banis Kema, an event were participants try to eat a bun on a string without using their hands, and the Kotta Pora, an event were two people have a pillow fight while trying to balance on a log.
‘‘It is pretty funny to watch.’’ Festivities started at 1pm and ran into the night, finishing up at 9pm, she said.
The next event to be hosted by the community group will be for Buddha Day celebrations in May.
Gihan Wanigarathna and Gayan Mendis at the Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations at the Blind Foundation hall in Invercargill.