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What is Poya Day?

February 22, 2019 | Did You Know?, Sri Lanka

Poya is the name given in Sri Lanka to the Lunar monthly Buddhist holiday of Uposatha. Poya occurs every full moon, every 29.5 days. Each Poya day is recognised by its own name.

There are 13 to 14 Poya days per year. When there is more than one Poya day per month, these are called ‘Adhi’ (extra in English.)


Feb 19th 2019 is Navam Poya, celebrating when the first ever Buddhist Council Meeting (Sangayanawa) took place!

Every Poya Day is a National Holiday in Sri Lanka. This means most businesses and shops will close for the day. The sale of meat and alcohol is also forbidden on Poya Day!


Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a highly spiritual country with over 70 percent of Sri Lankans practicing Buddhism. Sri Lanka is traditionally the oldest religious Buddhist country where Buddhist Aryan culture is protected and preserved.

Travelling throughout Sri Lanka you will see many temples and shrines dedicated to Buddha. The Dambulla Cave Temple in Kandy is one of the most visited temples in Sri Lanka. However, there are many beautiful temples located in the Southern Province including the Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara in Tangalle, Weherahena Temple in Matara and the temples local to Talalla.

Remember if you will be visiting any of the incredible temples in Sri Lanka to show respect and cover your shoulders and legs.



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