Duruthu Poya

The Buddhist calendar of events begins on January 12, with Duruthu full moon Poya.

By Time Out editors |
Duruthu Perahera
©Uchitha Gunaruwan Bandaragoda

It marks the first visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka, in the eighth year after attaining Buddhahood. A symbol of peace, the mission of Buddha’s visit to Sri Lanka was to restore harmony. The story of Duruthu Poya is thus: the native Yakkhas tribe believed to be descendants of Ravana and his brother, were in constant confrontation with the Nagas. When the Buddha arrived in Mahiyangana, the Yakkas were ready for battle. However, after listening to the Blessed One, they became followers of Buddhism. The Buddha’s visit was on the invitation of deity Sumana, who wanted to end the hostility between the tribes. God Sumana had then requested the Buddha for a relic in remembrance of his visit. The lock of hair given by the Buddha is believed to be entombed at the stupa in Mahiyangana.