Significance of Poya in Sri Lanka

This post gives complete information about Poya celebrations in Sri Lanka. Check to know more about how to celebrate Poya and the traditional culture relation in Sri Lanka.

Poya in Sri Lanka

Poya is the name given to the Uposatha in Buddhism and it falls on the Full moon of every month. It is more significant to the Buddhists who adopted the lunar calendar  for religious observances.

The word0 Poya is derived from the Sinhala language. On this day a Sinhalese Buddhist visits a temple and does his prayers and related observances. The workPoya in Sinhalese language is derived from Pali and Sanskrit word – uposatha. Uposatha means upa + vas, which means “to fast”.

On the day of Poya, selling of meat and alcohol is forbidden in states and countries following Buddhism.

The day of Full moon may not be always the same as observed in Gregorian calendar.

The date for holiday is decided on the phase of moon at Madhyahana time of the day.

Names of Poya through the year


names of Poya differs every month. Below are written the names of Poya:

  • January : Duruthu Poya
  • February : Navam Poya
  • March : Medin Poya
  • April : Bak Poya
  • May : Vesak Poya
  • June : Poson Poya
  • July : Esala Poya – Adhi Esala Full Moon Poya in 2016 – 19th July
  • August : Nikini Poya
  • September : Binara Poya
  • October : Vap Poya
  • November : Il Poya
  • December : Unduvap Poya

If a month may have two Poya days, then the second Poya day is prefixed by Adhi. Adhi is a SInhalese word, which means extra.


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