Esala Full Moon Poya

Thousands of devotees flock to the temple, specks of white bustling about with bunches of ‘pichcha’ (jasmine flowers) in their hands. The ‘Esala Full Moon Poya’ is in commemoration of the Buddha’s 1st sermon to the 5 ascetics where he advised them to follow a path of purity and righteousness.

The holy day marks the occurrences of many turning points in Buddhist history. Legend has it that Queen Maya, who had been unable to conceive for 20 years, had a dream which conveyed a crucial message to her: 10 months later, Prince Siddhartha was born.

The month of ‘Esala’ comprises of a multitude of pageants and religious observances: per say the ‘Kandy Esala Perahera’ which pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.

Why You Should Go

It’s highly debatable that one would be presented with greater opportunity towards a first-hand, authentic experience of faith and belief spanning centuries. An opportunity to completely immerse oneself in the essence of Buddhism, Sri Lanka’s primary religion, ‘Esala Full Moon Poya’ is celebrated island wide across all tiers of shrine and sanctuary.

Join in at the very heart of local culture where the aroma of incense assaults one’s senses whilst the tolling of bells could be heard from a distance. Partake in the holy event as devotees bow their heads in prayer or bustle about lighting wooden lamps in veneration of Lord Buddha. A magnificent display of Sri Lanka’s heritage, paintings and carvings adorn the temple walls, speaking of hundreds of years of folklore.

Seated on the floor of the temple, whilst the solemn voice of the monk echoes around the confines of the chambers, one has to admit that Buddhist stanzas (‘gatha’), makes one reflect on their attitudes and beliefs. The entire scene is a vision of white, symbolic of Buddhism.

Date and Time

Jul 05, 2020


Multiple Locations


Cultural and Religious

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