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Poson Festival

June 21

The Poson Festival, also known as Poson Poya, is a significant Buddhist festival celebrated in Sri Lanka, commemorating the introduction of Buddhism to the island by Arahat Mihindu, the son of Emperor Ashoka of India, in the 3rd century BCE. Rideeviharaya, being a prominent Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, likely observes the Poson Festival with great reverence and enthusiasm.

Here’s how Rideeviharaya might celebrate the Poson Festival:

  1. Decoration of the Temple: Similar to Vesak, Rideeviharaya would be adorned with colorful decorations, lights, and illuminations in preparation for the festival. The temple grounds may be decorated with intricate pandals (thoranas) depicting scenes from the life of Arahat Mahinda and other significant events related to Buddhism.
  2. Pilgrimages and Religious Observances: Devotees from various parts of the country may embark on pilgrimages to Rideeviharaya during Poson, seeking blessings and participating in religious observances. Many devotees observe sil (precepts) and engage in acts of merit-making such as offering alms to monks and performing acts of charity.
  3. Dansalas (Free Food Stalls): As with Vesak, Rideeviharaya may set up dansalas offering free food and refreshments to pilgrims and visitors as an expression of generosity and hospitality. These dansalas play a vital role in fostering a sense of community and unity among devotees.
  4. Bhakti Gee (Devotional Songs): Devotional songs praising the virtues of Arahat Mahinda and the spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka may be sung at Rideeviharaya during the Poson Festival. These songs create a reverent and uplifting atmosphere, enhancing the spiritual experience for devotees.
  5. Sil Dansala (Silent Dansal): Rideeviharaya may also organize a Sil Dansala during Poson, where visitors observe sil and engage in silent meditation before receiving meals. This practice promotes mindfulness and spiritual reflection, allowing devotees to deepen their connection to the teachings of Buddhism.
  6. Dhamma Talks and Sermons: Buddhist monks at Rideeviharaya may deliver Dhamma talks and sermons on the significance of Poson and the teachings of Arahat Mahinda. These talks provide spiritual guidance and inspiration to devotees, encouraging them to live according to Buddhist principles.
  7. Cultural Performances and Exhibitions: Rideeviharaya may organize cultural performances, exhibitions, and educational programs to showcase Sri Lanka’s rich Buddhist heritage and promote understanding of Buddhist teachings among devotees and visitors.

Poson at Rideeviharaya is a time of reflection, reverence, and celebration, marking a significant milestone in Sri Lanka’s Buddhist history. Through various religious observances, cultural activities, and acts of generosity, Rideeviharaya upholds the spirit of Poson and reinforces the importance of Buddhism in Sri Lankan society.


June 21
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