The Sri Lankan community of Melbourne’s west is ready to ring in their new year, with more than 1500 people expected to descend on Sassella Park.

New Year for Sinhala and Tamil communities kicks off on April 14, but the Western Victoria Sri Lankan Buddhist Association will celebrate early, on April 2, at its Aurudu Udanaya festival.

Organiser Sisira Gunasekara said the festival was a chance for families and friends to enjoy the most significant day on the Sri Lankan cultural calendar.

“This is the most celebrated festival in Sri Lanka,” Mr Gunasekara said. “It’s a really family-oriented event, and one of the main objectives of this year is to improve family and social harmony, and understanding between Australians of Sri Lankan background and the wider Australian community.

“Events of this nature promote cultural diversity and enriches Australia’s multicultural milieu,” he said.

The festival starts with a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast at 9am, then cultural dances, music, traditional Sri Lankan games, and other entertainment.