Poya day calendar:

Sri Lanka, a vibrant island nation known for its rich history and cultural heritage, boasts a diverse tapestry of religious observances and festivities. Among these are the revered Poya Days, which hold significant importance in the country’s cultural calendar. The year 2023 marks another set of auspicious Poya Days, bringing with it a series of public holidays and bank closures that are eagerly anticipated and celebrated by Sri Lankans across the nation.





2023, in Sri Lanka, is set to observe a series of Poya Days, signaling the arrival of full moons and the commemoration of these sacred occasions. The Poya Days are central to the public holiday calendar and are intertwined with the country’s rich religious and cultural tapestry. With the lunar calendar as its guide, Sri Lanka aligns its public holidays and bank closures with these auspicious Poya Days, ensuring that the nation’s citizens have the opportunity to partake in the festivities and observe the customs that have been passed down through generations.


Overview of Public Holidays in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka, the island nation famous for its breathtaking landscapes and warm hospitality, celebrates a myriad of public holidays throughout the year. From the vibrant Vesak festival in May to the serene Poson festival in June, the Sri Lankan public holiday calendar is brimming with significant cultural and religious observances. The Poya Days, in particular, stand out as a reflection of the country’s deep spiritual roots, and they bring a sense of unity and reverence to the nation.


Significance of Poya Days


The Poya Days, which fall on every full moon in the lunar calendar, hold immense religious and cultural significance for Buddhists in Sri Lanka and around the world. These days are centered on spiritual reflection, visits to temples, and acts of charity and kindness. The Poya Days serve as an essential time for self-discipline and adherence to the teachings of Buddhism, fostering a sense of harmony and mindfulness among the populace. 

Temple of Tooth

2023 Poya Day Calendar



Sri Lanka’s 2023 Poya Day calendar features multiple auspicious days where full moons are celebrated and revered. These observances play a significant role in the country’s cultural and religious heritage. As these days hold immense importance, they are marked as public holidays and are commemorated with various traditional customs and rituals across the nation.



List of Poya Days in 2023


2023 is set to witness a series of Poya Days, each corresponding to the occurrence of a full moon. These special days are deeply ingrained in Sri Lanka’s religious and cultural calendar, and their significance is reflected in the public holiday schedule.



Poya Days Falling on Sundays


Given the nature of the lunar calendar, some Poya Days align with Sundays, resulting in an extended weekend for individuals to engage in religious practices, visit temples, and partake in cultural observances without the hindrance of work obligations. These occasions provide an opportunity for personal reflection and spiritual rejuvenation.



Bank Holidays in 2023


Sri Lanka’s bank holidays for 2023 coincide with the Poya Days, ensuring that both public and financial institutions are closed on these significant occasions. This aligns with the country’s commitment to honoring its cultural and religious practices, allowing citizens to devoutly observe the Poya Days and engage in related activities without the encumbrance of business obligations.



Poya Days in Different Months



Poya Days, observed on every full moon, are deeply connected to the lunar calendar and are important cultural and religious events for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. In August 2023, the revered Poya Day will be celebrated, representing a time for spiritual reflection and engagement in traditional customs. Similarly, December 2023 and March 2023 will also mark significant Poya Days, with each occasion bringing about a sense of unity and reverence to the nation.



Poya Days in August 2023


August 2023 will witness the commemoration of an auspicious Poya Day, aligning with the occurrence of the full moon. This day is highly revered and serves as a time for self-discipline, spiritual activities, and adherence to Buddhist teachings.


Poya Days in December 2023


The month of December in 2023 will also embrace the celebration of a significant Poya Day, captivating the hearts of Sri Lankans and fostering spiritual harmony and mindfulness across the nation.


Poya Days in March 2023


As March 2023 dawns, another sacred Poya Day will grace the calendar, inviting people to partake in religious observances, visit temples, and engage in acts of charity and kindness as part of the longstanding traditions.

A Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka

Utilizing Poya Days and Bank Holidays

Maximizing the potential of Poya Days and bank holidays can be achieved through various activities that allow individuals to embrace the cultural and religious significance of these occasions. For instance, utilizing this time for spiritual enrichment, visiting temples, and engaging in acts of charity can provide a meaningful experience and foster a deeper connection to the traditions upheld on Poya Days and bank holidays.

Ways to Make Most of Poya Days and Bank Holidays

There are numerous ways to make the most of Poya Days and bank holidays, such as participating in religious ceremonies, cultural events, and traditional rituals. These activities serve to enhance one’s understanding of the significance of Poya Days and contribute to the preservation of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Travel and Tourism on Poya Days

With the closures of businesses and institutions on Poya Days, individuals can take advantage of the extended weekends to explore the beauty of Sri Lanka, visit historic sites, and partake in cultural experiences. This presents an opportune time for both locals and tourists to immerse themselves in the vibrant history and traditions of the island nation.

Service Operations and Closures

During Poya Days and bank holidays, service operations and business activities may experience temporary closures to allow individuals the freedom to engage in religious and cultural practices without the encumbrance of work obligations. This temporary pause in regular operations demonstrates the nation’s respect for its cultural heritage and the observance of these significant occasions.

Q: What is a Poya Day?

A: Poya Day is a significant national holiday in Sri Lanka, observed on the day of the full moon. It is a day when Buddhists commemorate important events in the life of Lord Buddha.

Q: How many Poya Days are there in a year?

A: There are usually 12 to 13 Poya Days in a year, one for each month of the lunar calendar.

Q: How are Poya Days determined?

A: Poya Days are determined based on the lunar calendar, and the day of the full moon is generally considered as the Poya Day.

Q: Are Poya Days considered as national holidays in Sri Lanka?

A: Yes, Poya Days are national holidays in Sri Lanka, and civil and bank institutions are closed on these days.

Q: Is the 2023 Poya Day calendar widely available for reference?

A: Yes, the 2023 Poya Day calendar is usually available through official government sources, and it is widely used for planning purposes.

Q: What is the significance of Poya Days in Sri Lanka?

A: Poya Days hold religious and cultural significance in Sri Lanka, and they are observed as days for prayer, meditation, and reflection by Buddhists.

A: Poya Days in Sri Lanka are generally similar to other lunar observances in countries such as India and other parts of Asia, where the lunar calendar is adopted for religious and cultural affairs.

Q: What is the origin of the term “Poya”?

A: The term “Poya” is derived from the Sinhala word “Poya”, which means to fast, reflecting the practice of observing a fast on Poya Days.

Q: Are there any exceptions in observing Poya Days?

A: Generally, the sale of alcohol and meat is prohibited on Poya Days, and the observance of Poya Days is a key cultural and religious affair in the country.

Q: Why is the full moon day considered as the Poya Day instead of the actual full moon day?

A: The lunar system operates on a 29.5 day cycle, and to align with this system, the full moon day is normally considered as the Poya Day, keeping in line with the traditional lunar timing.