Nikini Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2024

Nikini Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka in 2024
Statue of Buddha. Image via British Museum
  How long until Nikini Full Moon Poya?
Nikini Full Moon Poya
  Dates of Nikini Full Moon Poya in Sri Lanka
2025 Sri Lanka Fri, Aug 8 National Holiday
2024 Sri Lanka Mon, Aug 19 National Holiday
2023 Aug 1, Aug 30
Sri LankaWed, Aug 30National Holiday
Sri LankaTue, Aug 1National Holiday
2022 Sri Lanka Thu, Aug 11 National Holiday
2021 Sri Lanka Sun, Aug 22 National Holiday

Marks the retreat of the Bhikkhus following the Buddha's death, commemorated by a period of fasting and of retreat for the monastic communities

This public holiday in Sri Lanka takes place on the full moon day of Nikini, the ninth month in the Sinhalese calendar.

It usually falls in August in the Western calendar.

History of Nikini Full Moon Poya

Nikini Full Moon Poya Day is the second Poya in the Vas season (Rainy-retreat).

It is the start of the rainy retreat for the Bhikkhu ordained monks.

Nikini Poya day celebrates the Dhamma Sangayana - the First Buddhist Council. According to Buddhist tradition, the council was held shortly after the death of the Buddha, and is dated to have taken place around 400 BCE.

At the council, what the Buddha had said, was agreed upon and recited. It was held at Sattapanni caves, Rajgriha (Bihar, India) under the patronage of the king Ajatashatru with the monk Mahakasyapa presiding and established the Tipitaka, the Buddhist scriptures.

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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