Is the name given to a Buddhist holiday which occurs every day of a full moon. The full moon is important to Buddhists who have adopted the lunar calendar for their religious observances.  The term poya is derived from the Pali and Sanskrit work uposatha primarily signifying ‘day of fasting’. Shops and businesses are closed on Poya days and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.

There are twelve or thirteen poya days per year. Their names correspond to the Buddhist lunar months of the same name. They are VesākPosonEsalaNikiniBinaraVapIllUnduvapDuruthuNavamMedin and Bak.

If a month has two full moon days, the name of the second one is preceded by Adhi (meaning extra in Sinhala) as in Adhi Poson poya, etc.


Pali, Sanskrit, Sinhalese