Ill Full Moon Poya Day in Sri Lanka

Ill Full Moon Poya Day, also known as Il Poya, is a significant religious and cultural event in Sri Lanka. This day is observed on the full moon day of the month of June according to the Buddhist lunar calendar.


Ill Full Moon Poya Day has its roots in the Theravada Buddhist tradition of Sri Lanka. The significance of this day can be traced back to the time when Buddhism was first introduced to the island nation by the great Indian Buddhist missionary, Mahinda Thero, in the 3rd century BCE. According to historical accounts, King Devanampiyatissa, the ruler of Sri Lanka at that time, embraced Buddhism after his encounter with Mahinda Thero on a full moon day in June. This event marked the beginning of the Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka, which continues to thrive to this day.


National customs for Ill Full Moon Poya Day in Sri Lanka

On Ill Full Moon Poya Day, devout Buddhists across Sri Lanka engage in various religious activities to observe the day. This includes visiting temples, offering flowers and incense, and participating in meditation and other spiritual practices. Many Buddhists also observe Sil, a form of precept observance where they abstain from indulgence in sensual pleasures, refrain from killing, stealing, lying, and intoxication, and practice mindfulness and meditation throughout the day.

In addition to these religious observances, Ill Full Moon Poya Day is a public holiday in Sri Lanka, so schools, government offices, and many businesses remain closed. This allows people to spend time with their families, engage in religious activities, and reflect on the teachings of Buddha.

Local customs for Ill Full Moon Poya Day in Sri Lanka

While the national customs for Ill Full Moon Poya Day are observed throughout Sri Lanka, there may be some regional variations in the way people celebrate the day. In certain areas, people may organize community events, such as alms-giving, where food is offered to monks and the less fortunate. Some regions may also have unique cultural performances, such as traditional dances and music, to mark the occasion.


Ill Full Moon Poya Day is a significant event in Sri Lanka that commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to the island nation. With its rich history and cultural significance, the day is marked by various religious activities and customs that allow Sri Lankans to reflect on their Buddhist heritage, engage in spiritual practices, and come together as a community.