Arrangements finalised for Anuradhapura Poson festival | Sunday Observer

Arrangements finalised for Anuradhapura Poson festival

28 May, 2023

Poson Poya which marks the arrival of Mihindu Thera and Buddhism in Sri Lanka falls on June 3. Accordingly, the main Poson Festival will take place at the Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara off Anuradhapura.

The theme of this year’s Poson Festival is ‘Let’s arise, awaken, engage and protect the Dhamma preached by the Buddha and Arahat Mihindu Thero’. This year’s festival will be the 2,331st held in the country.

Around one million pilgrims will visit the Mihintale sacred site from all corners of Sri Lanka for the festival. Many pilgrims are also expected to arrive from neighbouring Buddhist countries.

A pirith chanting ceremony will be held from May 25 - 1 June while May 31-June 6 has been named the Poson Week. The festivities will be led by the Chief Prelates of the three Nikayas and will be attended by many other distinguished guests.

The Poson Aloka pooja (Illuminations) will be held from June 2 to 4. The Police and the three Armed Forces are extending their fullest support for the Poson programs, along with the North Central Province (NCP) Governor and officials.

Special cleaning programs of the site have now commenced while a program to prevent polythene and plastic being brought to the site will also be initiated. A large number of dansalas will also be held during the time organised by the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha, MoH office, Archaeology Department, Mihintale Police Station and others. These have been approved by the regional health authorities and will be inspected regularly.


The Mihindu perahera will take place on June 2, the day before the Poya. It will proceed through Isuru Uyana Mawatha, to the main street and end at the Katu Seya. Lifeguards will be on duty during the entire week with the support of the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Police, Civil Security Department and the Disaster Management Centre.

The Mihintale Hospital and the Sri Lanka Army will also provide emergency health care during this period. The Anuradhapura Poson Committee has decided not to permit the use of loudspeakers during the festival to prevent them from becoming a nuisance to students sitting the GCE Ordinary Level examination.

Elaborate festivities will not take place this time and instead, Dhamma sermons and discourses including other religious programs will be held in the Atamasthana in Anuradhapura and the Tantirimale religious site.

The Government has allocated more than Rs.3.1 million for the Poson activities in Mihintale and Anuradhapura, in keeping with its policy of nurturing religion and culture.

Liquor outlets

Liquor outlets and meat stalls will remain closed in the Anuradhapura District during the Poson Week. Special transport facilities will be provided by the Sri Lanka Railway (SLR), Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and private bus operators for the convenience of pilgrims. These will be coordinated by the North Central Province Passenger Transport Authority.

The organisers invite all Buddhists to come to Anuradhapura and Mihintale to participate in these meritorious events.