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Poya

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For the town in New Caledonia, see Poya, New Caledonia.
For the tribes in Patagonia, see Poya (tribe).


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Poya or Poya Day is the name given to a Buddhist public holiday in Sri Lanka which occurs every full moon day. The Full moon is important to Buddhists all around the world, who have adopted the Lunar Calendar for their religious observances. Owing to the moon's fullness of size as well as its effulgence, the full moon day is treated as the most auspicious of the four lunar phases occurring once every lunar month (29.5 days) and thus marked by a holiday.

Every full moon day is known as a Poya in Sinhala; this is when a practicing Buddhist visits the Temple for the rituals of worship. There are 12 or 13 Poyas per year. The term poya is derived from the Pali and Sanskrit form uposatha (from upa + vas: to fast) primarily signifying "fast day". Generally shops and businesses are closed on Poya Days, and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.

Month Poya Name
January Duruthu Poya
February Navam Poya
March Medin Poya
April Bak Poya
May Vesak Poya
June Poson Poya
July Esala Poya
August Nikini Poya
September Binara Poya
October Vap Poya
November Il Poya
December Unduvap Poya

If a month has two Poya Days the name of the second one will be preceeded by ”Adhi” (”extra” in Sinhala) as in ”Adhi Vesak”, ”Adhi Poson”, etc.si:පොහොය

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