Buddhist temples that are packed to the brink during the auspicious times set aside for people to engage in religious activities before the dawn of the traditional new year lay deserted today as the country ushers in the new year under a curfew.

At the Sri Sudarshana Lankarama Viharaya in Kesweba, the incumbent monks were seen engaged in  their routine activities , the scenes in stark contrast to packed temples this time last year.

The new year will dawn at 8.23 p.m. today.