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Esala Full Moon Poya

Immerse in the vibrance of Esala Full Moon Poya, a day of spirituality, celebrating Buddha's first sermon and the start of Buddhist Lent.
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July 20
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Sri Lanka

Mark your calendars and prepare for a journey of spirituality on the Esala Full Moon Poya day on July 20! It's a day filled with deep significance in the Buddhist tradition. This date commemorates the first sermon delivered by Buddha after his Enlightenment and also signifies the start of Buddhist Lent, a period of renewal and reflection. Emerging from the fullness of the Esala moon, a term used in the lunar calendar of Sri Lanka, this day has glowed with its distinct symbolism for centuries attracting Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. So, brace yourself for a day of vibrant celebrations, intensified prayers, and sincere offerings under the captivating Esala full moon!

History of Esala Full Moon Poya

Esala Full Moon Poya Dates

Esala Full Moon Poya Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>563 BCE</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Birth of Buddha</div><div class='timeline-text'>Prince Siddhartha, later known as Buddha, is born. His teachings form the foundation of the Buddhist tradition.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>528 BCE</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Buddha's Enlightenment</div><div class='timeline-text'>Siddhartha attains Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, thus becoming Buddha, the Enlightened One.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>528 BCE</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Sermon by Buddha</div><div class='timeline-text'>Buddha delivers his first sermon, "Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion", on the full moon day of the month of Esala.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>307 BCE</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Introduction to Sri Lanka</div><div class='timeline-text'>Buddhism is introduced to Sri Lanka by Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka of India.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1800s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Beginnings of Perahera Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Kandy Esala Perahera, a grand festival with elegant costumes, dances and decorated elephants honoring the Sacred Tooth Relic, emerges in prominence.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1956</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Official Public Holiday</div><div class='timeline-text'>Esala Full Moon Poya Day is marked as a public holiday in Sri Lanka, allowing Buddhists to participate fully in observances and rituals.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Esala Full Moon Poya

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Practice meditation</h3><p class='facts-text'>In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is a key practice in achieving enlightenment. Use this day to sit in a quiet place, focus your mind, and practice mindfulness. You might find inner peace and new insights.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Read the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta</h3><p class='facts-text'>To celebrate Buddha's first sermon on this day, take the time to read the text of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which records that pivotal moment. Reflect on Buddha's teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Participate in a Dharma talk</h3><p class='facts-text'>You can join a Dharma Talk at a local Buddhist center or online. These talks are usually given by a spiritual leader or an experienced practitioner who discusses Buddhist teachings and how they can be applied to everyday life.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Make Vesak lanterns</h3><p class='facts-text'>These colorful paper lanterns or "Vesak kudus" are commonly made in Sri Lanka during Full Moon Poya days. Making and hanging these lanterns in your home can add a festive touch to your celebrations while also symbolizing the light of Buddha's teachings.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Serve Dana</h3><p class='facts-text'>On this day, Buddhists usually perform acts of generosity, known as Dana, including giving food to monks and the poor. Preparing food at home and sharing it with those in need can be a fulfilling way to observe the traditions of Esala Full Moon Poya.</p></div></div>

Why Esala Full Moon Poya is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a day of spiritual renewal</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Esala Full Moon Poya Day is a time for individuals to reflect on their spiritual journey and potential growth. With the observance of meditation, reading sermons, and participating in spiritual discussions, it offers a spiritual reset or reconnection, perfect for anyone seeking peace of mind and spiritual awakening.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Celebrates key events in Buddha's life</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>This day commemorates Buddha's first sermon after achieving Enlightenment, marking a significant moment in the history of Buddhism. It provides us with an opportunity to delve deeper into the teachings of Buddha and to appreciate the profound wisdom and knowledge encapsulated in his discourses.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Encourages acts of kindness and generosity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Esala Full Moon Poya is also a day where the act of Dana or generosity takes center stage. It reminds us of the importance of sharing and caring for others, especially those less fortunate. This act of giving not only brings joy to the receivers, but also offers psychological and spiritual benefits to the giver, fostering a sense of connection and compassion amongst all.</p></div></div>

5 Enlightening Esala Full Moon Poya Facts

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>This Full Moon Poya Marks the Crucial Event of Buddha's Life</h3><p class='facts-content'>Esala Full Moon Poya is famously celebrated as it commemorates Buddha's first sermon, in which he set out the 'Four Noble Truths' to his first five disciples thus marking the inception of the Buddhist community known as "Sangha".</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Esala Full Moon Poya Ushers the Season of Vas</h3><p class='facts-content'>Associated with the start of Vas or "rainy" season, Esala Full Moon Poya also signifies the beginning of a period of retreat for monks. During the next three months, they typically remain in one location, devoting their time to intense meditation.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Home to One of the Grandest and Oldest Festivals</h3><p class='facts-content'>Esala Poya is known for the magnificient Kandy Esala Perahera, also referred to as The Festival of the Tooth. It is believed to be a fusion of two separate but interconnected "Peraheras" (processions) – The Esala and Dalada, the former being a ritual performed by rural folk to request the gods for rainfall.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Drawing its Name from the Sinhalese Calendar</h3><p class='facts-content'>The day draws its name from the lunar month Esala, as per the Sinhalese calendar. Sinhalese make up for the largest ethnic community in Sri Lanka, therefore having significant bearing on its cultural traditions.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Esala Full Moon Poya is Known for its Devotional Songs</h3><p class='facts-content'>Devotional songs or "Bakthi Geetha" hold a special place in the commemoration of Esala Poya. These spiritual hymns are sung to pay homage to Lord Buddha and to receive his blessings.</p></div></div>

Esala Full Moon Poya FAQs

Esala Full Moon Poya Dates







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