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Unduvap Full Moon Poya – December 7, 2024

Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day is celebrated on the last full moon day of the year — it’s happening on December 7 this year. It is an important holiday in the history of Sri Lanka. Do you know that Unduvap Full Moon Poya is based on the arrival of Sangamitta? Yes, this day commemorates the arrival of Sangamitta Theri, the daughter of Ashoka, in Sri Lanka with a Bo sapling from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in India during the month of Unduwap. It usually falls on the last full moon day of the year in December, the ninth month in the Sinhalese calendar.

History of Unduvap Full Moon Poya

This public holiday in Sri Lanka celebrates the arrival of the Bo tree sapling in Anuradhapura, which was brought by Ashoka’s daughter, Sangamitta. History states that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment by meditating under a Bodhi tree in Bihar, India. Years later, Sangamitta, along with several members of the royal family, entered the Sasanaya in Dambakolapatuna Port in Jaffna on an Unduvap Poya day. The sacred Bo sapling was brought to Sri Lanka in a golden bowl and thereafter planted in the Mahamewna Garden in Anuradhapura. Bo saplings from this tree were taken to other parts of the island to spread the Buddhist philosophy and culture.

Moreover, Sangamitta has also spread her diverse skills in crafts and disciplines, such as woodwork, agriculture, indigenous medicine, etc., which helped in the development of the country. On this day, every year, Buddhist devotees flock to Anuradhapura in thousands on Unduvap Full Moon Poya day to pay homage to the sacred Bo tree. It is also said that Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka during his lifetime. Today, the most sacred tree in the world is the JayaSri Maha Bodhi Standing at Mahamevna Uyana.

In Sri Lanka, every full moon day is a public holiday and each of these days has its own name and commemorates key events in Buddhism. These full moon days or Poya will change each year and on these days, shops and businesses will usually remain closed and the sale of meat and alcohol is forbidden.

Unduvap Full Moon Poya timeline

623 B.C.
The Birth of Buddha

Lord Buddha is born in the sacred area of Lumbini located in Southern Nepal.

249 B.C.
The Planting of the Sapling

King Devanampiya Tissa plants the sacred Bo sapling in Sri Lanka.

993 A.D.
The Invasion of Anuradhapura

The city of Anuradhapura is abandoned after the invasion.

World Heritage Sites

Anuradhapura is added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Unduvap Full Moon Poya FAQs

What is Esala Poya?

Esala Poya takes place on the full moon in the eighth lunar month, usually in July. This celebrates Buddha’s first sermon and the arrival of the Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka.

What happens on Poson Poya Day?

Poson is one of the most important religious events for Buddhists in Sri Lanka because it marks the introduction of Buddhism in the Island by Arahant Mahinda in the 3rd century B.C.

How did Sri Lanka become a Buddhist nation?

Arahant Mahinda, the son of King Asoka, introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the 3rd century B.C. The King of Sri Lanka, Devanampiya Tissa, converted to Buddhism shortly after Mahinda’s arrival.

Unduvap Full Moon Poya Activities

  1. Experience Buddhism

    The greatest way to observe Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day is to connect with Buddhism. Learn about Lord Buddha, Buddhism's rich history, principles, and culture.

  2. Visit Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is not only famous for Buddhism, but also for its rich culture and green forests. You can feel the melodies of nature sprinkled with the freshness of pure flora and fauna in Sri Lanka.

  3. Share your story

    If you've been to Sri Lanka, you can use social media to share some of the fascinating things that happened there with the world. You can also spread the word to your family and friends about this incredible country.

5 Amazing Facts About Buddhism

  1. There’s no god

    Buddhists don’t believe in a god and there is none to worship.

  2. Anyone can be Buddha

    A Buddha is a person who achieved enlightenment.

  3. Meditation is important

    Meditation is a big part of the teaching and every monk practices it several times a day.

  4. It’s not a religion

    Scholars say that Buddhism is a way of life and shouldn’t be confused with a religion.

  5. 507 million Buddhists

    There are more than 500 million Buddhists in the world as of 2022.

Why We Love Unduvap Full Moon Poya

  1. It’s a special day

    Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day is a special day that the whole nation of Equatorial Guinea expects every year. During this celebration, the people of Guinea fill their hearts with happiness, peace, and goodness.

  2. It’s a day to celebrate

    Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day is an annual event that emphasizes prosperity and peace for the nation. So, it’s a day to unwind, relax, and find a way to become enlightened just like Siddhartha Gautama.

  3. It’s all about history

    Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day honors not only the final full moon of the year but also the thousands of people who have given their time, effort, and lives to spread Buddhism. Devotees flock to temples to take part in religious rites.

Unduvap Full Moon Poya dates

2022December 7Wednesday
2023December 26Tuesday
2024December 14Saturday
2025December 4Thursday
2026December 23Wednesday

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