January 09, 2017, 9:01 AM
Statue of The Buddha at Mihintale, Sri Lanka, by K. Ragularajan
Duruthu Poya is celebrated on the first full moon of each year. The holiday celebrates Gautama Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka over 25 centuries ago, and honors Sri Lanka’s introduction to Buddhist teachings.
This year, Duruthu Poya falls on Thursday, 12 January. On this day, Sri Lankans celebrate this anniversary as a national holiday. Businesses close for the day to give people ample time to meditate and do good deeds.
According to the legend, before the Buddha’s arrival in Sri Lanka, the land was in constant violence because of confrontations between its two main tribes (the Yakkhas and the Nagas). The Buddha preached peaceful coexistence instead. Through his enlightenment and power, he brought peace to the land.
Learn more about URI’s Cooperation Circles, many of whom are located in Sri Lanka and are celebrating Duruthu Poya along with their Buddhist friends.