Saturday, June 22, 2013

June's Full Moon Observance (Poson)

Pilgrims crowd Mahinda's own Plymouth Rock
Poson Poya or June's full moon observance day celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the teardrop island off the south of India. 
The Dharma arrived in the 3rd century BCE, and the festival is of great historical and religious significance for Buddhists. 
Poson, held on the full moon day of June, commemorates when the arhat Mahinda, the enlightened Buddhist son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
The main center of celebration is Mihintale, named after Ven. Mahinda, the ancient monastic complex where the royal missionary monastic preached the first sermon to the king and at Anuradhapura, the ancient capital. Large crowds of devoted pilgrims will converge. Mass religious observances and illuminated pageants are part of the celebrations.

For Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Buddhists, Poson is second only to Vesak in importance. More

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