Madin Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2020

Madin Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2020
Buddha reclining at Issurumuniya Temple, Sri Lanka. Image via Pexels
  How long until Madin Full Moon Poya?
This holiday next takes place in 238 days.
  Dates of Madin Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka
2021Sri Lanka Sun, Mar 28National Holiday
2020Sri Lanka Mon, Mar 9National Holiday
2019Sri Lanka Wed, Mar 20National Holiday
2018Sri Lanka Thu, Mar 1National Holiday
2017Sri Lanka Sun, Mar 12National Holiday
  Summary
Marks Buddha's first visit to his hometown, Kapilavastu, following his enlightenment

When is Madin Full Moon Poya?

Madin Full Moon Poya is marked with a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

Also known as Medin Full Moon Day, this poya marks the Buddha’s first visit to his father's palace following his enlightenment.

History of Madin Full Moon Poya

Six years after the Buddha had gained enlightenment, his father, King Suddhodana heard the news that his son had attained Enlightenment. Wanting to see his son, the King sent an envoy with a retinue of 1,000 to invite the Buddha to his kingdom of Kapilavastu, thought to have been in modern-day Nepal. However, the envoy never returned, having entered the Buddha's Order without passing on the message.

The King sent nine more envoys but they all joined the order without passing on his invite. As a last roll of the dice, King Suddhodana sent Kaludai, a boyhood friend of Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha). Kaludai agreed to pass on the message, provided he too would be allowed to enter the order.

Kaludai managed to persuade the Buddha to visit His aged father Suddhodana and relatives in the Sakya Desaya at Kimbulwathpura.

And so it was on the Madin Full Moon Day, that the Buddha, accompanied by 20,000 disciples made the journey of about 900 miles from Veluwanaramaya, Rajagriha, to meet his father, relatives, and friends.

The Buddha then preached the Vessanthara Jathakaya to the crowds, explaining his previous life as King Vessantara.

This poya signifies the love and brotherhood as it was on a Madin poya day that Prince Rahula, Prince Siddhartha's (the Buddha before enlightenment) only son, entered the Buddha Sasana.

For Sri Lankan Buddhists, Medin Full Moon Poya is particularly important as it marks the climax of the Sri Pada pilgrimage season.

What are Poya?

Every full moon (usually one a month) is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Each of the full moons has 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.

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