A Foundation Stone and Vial of Water, Blessed by a Monk
Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne visited Matara on an auspicious day. On the way we passed about 7 cars decked out in flowers, as those couples had chosen the same day to be married. Along with auspicious days, as determined by the position of the stars, there are many other Sri Lankan customs associated with new beginnings and special events.
Each site we visited in Matara had a monk present to officiate the ceremony. Here they are seen holding the white string which is tied around the wrist as a pirith. In different areas of the country it may be a Muslim, Christian or Hindu figure at the ceremony, but someone from the religious community is most often present.
Here Dr Ari is be presented with betel leaves upon his arrival. Betel is usually chewed with arecanaut, but this betel was never consumed at all, it was simply ceremonial. It’s a sign of respect and goodwill throughout the island.
The foundation stone is itself hollow, and filled with various auspicious metals, spices, etc.