Poya Day is a Buddhist public holiday in Sri Lanka. Every full moon
day is known as a Poya in Sinhala.
There are 12 Poyas for a year. Generally shops and businesses are closed on Poya Days,
and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.
January : Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
Duruthu Poya Day is observed as the Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka.
February : Navam Full Moon Poya Day
Navam Poya Day celebrates the ordination of the Buddha Gotama's main disciples
Sariputta and MahaMoggallana.
March : Medin Full Moon Poya Day
Medin Poya Day commemorates the visit of the Buddha to his home to preach to
his father King Suddhodana.
April : Bak Full Moon Poya Day
Bak Poya Day commemorates the second visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka which took
place in the fifth year of his Supreme Enlightenment.
May : Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
The Buddhist calendar begins with the month of Vesak. On Vesak Day, Buddhists
world over commemorate the triple anniversary of Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gautama
June : Poson Full Moon Poya Day
Poson Poya Day commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahat
Maha Mahinda, son of King Asoka of India at Mihintale.
July : Esala Full Moon Poya Day
Esala Poya Day commemorates the deliverance of the first sermon to the five
ascetics and setting in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma at Sarnath Benares,
August : Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
Nikini Poya Day commemorates the conducting of the first Dhamma Sangayana.
September : Binara Full Moon Poya Day
Binara Full Moon Poya Day commemorates the Buddha's visit to heaven to preach to
his mother and celestial multitude.
October : Vap Full Moon Poya Day
Vap Poya Day commemorates the conclusion of the Buddha's preaching of the Abhidhamma
for three months to his mother in the Heavenly realm.
November : Il Full Moon Poya Day
Il Poya Day commemorates the obtaining of Vivarana(the assurance of becoming a Buddha)
by the Bodhisatta Maitriya and the commissioning of 60 disciples by the Buddha to
disperse his teachings.
December : Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day
Unduvap Poya Day denotes the arrival of the Bo-tree sapling.