Akuru Kiyaweema ෴ අකුරු කියවීම

First letter reading or Akuru Kiyaweema is a ceremonial function that organized to mark the child’s first letter reading and writing. Akuru Kiyaweema is one such custom that takes immense prominence in families with young children.

What is the best age for a child to have their first reading ceremony?

The age to do the first letter reading ceremony is depend on their parents. Some people say that it should be done before 3 years and some say it should be done from 3 to 5 years. So if the baby could talk clearly, understand and pronounce words properly it is better to do the first letter reading ceremony before age of 3.

How to decide a date and time for the First letter reading ceremony

According to the customs of Sri Lanka, such festivals are held at auspicious times. This auspicious time should be obtained from an astrologer according to the child's horoscope or the child's time and date of birth.

list of items need

  • A hand full of betel leaves
  • Two coconuts and Two king coconuts
  • Milk rice
  • Five varieties of fruits (Mango, Wood apple, pineapple, orange and apple)
  • Ripe Plantains
  • Five varieties of sweetmeats (Konda Kaum, MunKaum, aggala, Kokis, Asmi)
  • Ghee oil, Bee honey, Jaggery, Parched grain
  • Camphor, Sambrani Powder, Incense stick
  • Stature or picture of Lord Buddha, God Sarasvathi and God Ganesh
  • Books with alphabet and numbers
  • Book or small blackboard to write
  • Pencil/pastels

Steps to arrange First letter reading ceromony

  • First Set up a table covered with a white cloth.
  • Then place all three statues or pictures on the table (statues of Buddha, God Ganesh and Saraswati) and set up an oil lamp for each statue.
  • Cover the table with betel leaves.
  • Keep incense sticks, flowers, bee honey, ghee oil, a plate full of sweetmeats including milk rice, a plate full of fruits, king coconuts and coconuts.
  • After arranging the table, before auspicious time light up the oil lamps, Camphors and smoke of sambrhani powder.
  • Then worship Lord Buddha and the two gods Sarasvathi and Ganesh.

Read the First letter

After completing all the religious activities, suggest chanting the Pirith after the auspicious time. Then the child's father, mother or well-educated stable person should read the first letter to the child. Then hold the baby's hand and let the child write a few letters. Then guide the child to worship the elders with betel leaves.