17 Bhikkhunis facing Mahapajapathi Gothami
When is Binara Full Moon Poya?
How long until Binara Full Moon Poya?
|This holiday next takes place in 236 Days.|
Dates of Binara Full Moon Poya
|Commemorates the establishment of the Buddhist Bikkhuni Order|
This public holiday in Sri Lanka takes place on the full moon day of Binara, the sixth month in the Sinhalese calendar.
It usually falls in September in the Western calendar.
History of Binara Full Moon Poya
On Binara Poya, Sri Lankan Buddhists commemorate the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasanaya (Bhikkhuni Sangha) or Order of the Female Buddhist Monastic. The very first bhikkuni ordained was the stepmother of Buddha, Mahapajapathi Gothami.
Mahapajapathi Gothami was the younger sister of Queen Maha Maya, the mother of Buddha. The Queen died a week after the birth of Buddha and the prince was raised by Mahapajapathi Gothami who subsequently married Buddha's father King Suddodhana, becoming his stepmother.
The Vas season (Rainy-retreat) continues during the month of Binara, so the bhikkuni remain in their monasteries, engaged in meditation.
A highlight of Binara Poya is a Perahara (Procession) at Mahiyangana. The Veddah people (the indigenous people of Sri Lanka) are part of the procession and perform their own dance to mark the poya. The Mahiyangana Stupa was built to mark the location of Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka.
What are Poya?
Every full moon (usually one a month) is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Each of the full moons have its own name and they are days to commemorate key events in Buddhism.
These full moon days are known as Poya. The Poya dates will change each year and certain Poya dates may be a day before or after the date of the full moon.
On Poya days, shops and businesses will usually close and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.