Il Poya ෴ ඉල් පෝය

Ill Full Moon Poya is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. It usually falls in November in the western calendar. It is the penultimate Poya of the year and marks the end of the rainy season and the conclusion of the three-month retreat (Vassana-Samaya).

Traditions of Ill Full Moon Poya

This Poya celebrates the obtaining of Vivarana (the assurance of becoming a Buddha) by the Bodhisatta Maitriya and the commissioning of 60 disciples by The Buddha to disperse his teachings.

According to tradition, the foundation stone for the Thuparamaya, Sri Lanka’s first stupa after the introduction of Buddhism was laid on this day many centuries ago.

To mark this event, many Sri Lankan Buddhists will travel to this bell-shaped stupa in Anuradhapura to offer flowers and reflect on the Buddha’s teachings.

Shops and businesses are generally closed on Poya Days, and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.

If the full moon day falls on a weekend, then the public holiday is not moved to another day.

Other Poya days

1. Duruthu Poya (Jan) 2. Navam Poya (Feb) 3. Medin Poya (Mar) 4. Bak Poya (Apr) 5. Vesak Poya (May) 6. Poson Poya (Jun) 7. Esala Poya (Jul) 8. Nikini Poya (Aug) 9. Binara Poya (Sep) 10. Vap Poya (Oct) 11. Il Poya (Nov) 12. Unduvap Poya (Dec)