Delayed Poya Fun

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:52 (UTC+0530)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Vesak Poya (the full moon festival in May) is normally a big affair, but was dampened this year by the terror attacks.  The government decided to move all the festivities to the following full moon holiday, the Poson Poya.  This is a bit like cancelling Christmas and moving it to Groundhog Day instead.  So the last few days have seen strings of decorations hung in the breeze, with sound- and light-shows at night, even on our pot hole dirt road.

A large tree across from our driveway was decked out with kudu paper lanterns that brightened and dimmed along with serene music.  Vehicles and pedestrians slowed to have a look.  Other large paper sculptures turned slowly and flashed changing colors.  Someone had even set up a golden goose figure whose beak opened and shut, its tail waggling, as it turned.  Temples were especially resplendent, with hordes of devotees dressed in white, and resounding meditative music.

Some days ago I was trying to nap at home on a sweaty afternoon and suddenly there was a bang on the roof, then the sound of something rolling down and dropping off the gutter.  Noises on (and within) our roof are not uncommon, so I dozed again.  Bang went another something, and then a third bang.  I heard merry voices outside.  What the heck was going on?

I went out in bare feet to look.  A man was far up into the large branches of a massive tree on the hillside above our house.  He was violently shaking branches to dislodge some kind of yellow fruit.  The folks below him were darting around to catch the falling treasures, but some flew wide of their reach and landed on our rooftop.

Later I showed a specimen to our landlady and she informed us it was nutmeg, and quite valuable.  She peeled it open and inside was the familiar nut wrapped in red mace.  Karen is drying it out and we'll scrape it onto our oatmeal.  Here is a photo of it.