What are Poya Days in Srilanka?


Poya (or uposatha) days fall on each full moon and have been observed by monks and laypeople since the time of the Buddha as times to strengthen one’s practice.

Devout Buddhists visit a temple, fast after noon and abstain from entertainment and luxury.

At their temple they may make offerings, attend teachings and meditate.

Poya days are public holidays in Sri Lanka and each is associated with a particular ritual.

Durutu (January) Marks the Buddha’s first supposed visit to the island.

Vesak (May) Celebrates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinibbana (final passing away).

Poson (June) Commemorates Buddhism’s arrival in Sri Lanka.

Esala (July/August) Sees the huge Kandy festival, which observes, among other things, the Buddha’s first sermon.

Unduwap (December) Celebrates the visit of Sangamitta, who brought the bodhi tree sapling to Anuradhapura.

Info Source: Sri Lanka 13e 2015 Book

Photo Source: dbartan Instagram Account
Photo Source: dbartan Instagram Account