This full moon has special significance for Buddhists in Sri Lanka as it marks two important events. The first commemorates the appointment of Sariputta (Sariyuth) and Moggallana (Mugalan) as the first two chief disciples (Aggasavakes) of Gautama Buddha.
Navam Poya also commemorates the first-ever Buddhist Council, held three months after the death of the Buddha. It was here where the Vinaya (the code of fundamental ethics for Buddhist monks) was proclaimed based on the teachings that the Buddha had passed onto his disciples.
In 1979, the first Navam Perahera (parade) took place at the Gangaramaya temple in Colombo. This perahera has grown to become one of the most popular and important pageants in Sri Lanka. The parade features hundreds of beautifully decorated elephants accompanied by whip crackers, fire dancers, flag bearers, traditional dancers and musicians.Other Poya days
1. Duruthu Poya (Jan) 2. Navam Poya (Feb) 3. Medin Poya (Mar) 4. Bak Poya (Apr) 5. Vesak Poya (May) 6. Poson Poya (Jun) 7. Esala Poya (Jul) 8. Nikini Poya (Aug) 9. Binara Poya (Sep) 10. Vap Poya (Oct) 11. Il Poya (Nov) 12. Unduvap Poya (Dec)