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Navam Full Moon Poya in 2019

National and public holidays in Sri Lanka Public Holiday in Sri Lanka

Navam Full Moon Poya celebrates the appointment of Buddha's two chief disciples and the first-ever Buddhist Council held after the passing away of Lord Buddha.
Statue of Buddha in the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka.

When is Navam Full Moon Poya?

How long until Navam Full Moon Poya?
This holiday is today!
Dates of Navam Full Moon Poya
Year Weekday Date
2020 Sunday
2019 Tuesday
2018 Wednesday
2017 Friday
2016 Monday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Celebrates the appointment of Buddha's two chief disciples and the first-ever Buddhist Council held after the passing away of Lord Buddha

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

This poya day is usually celebrated on the first full moon in February, though in some years it can take place in late January.

Traditions of Navam Full Moon Poya

This full moon has special significance for Buddhists in Sri Lanka as it marks two important events.

The first commemorates the appointment of Sariputta (Sariyuth) and Moggallana (Mugalan) as the first two chief disciples (Aggasavakes) of Gautama Buddha.

Navam Poya also commemorates the first-ever Buddhist Council, held three months after the death of the Buddha. It was here where the Vinaya (the code of fundamental ethics for Buddhist monks) was proclaimed based on the teachings that the Buddha had passed onto his disciples.

In 1979, the first Navam Perahera (parade) took place at the Gangaramaya temple in Colombo. This perahera has grown to become one of the most popular and important pageants in the Sri Lanka. The parade features hundreds of beautifully decorated elephants accompanied by whip crackers, fire dancers, flag bearers, traditional dancers and musicians.

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.


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