Procession from Isurumuniya to Mahamevnawa tomorrow | Daily News
National Poson festival – 2018

Procession from Isurumuniya to Mahamevnawa tomorrow

GA urges public to follow regulations
Buddhist monks and devotees on the Aradhana Gala in Mihintale. Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional District Group Corr.
Buddhist monks and devotees on the Aradhana Gala in Mihintale. Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional District Group Corr.

Preparations for the national Poson festival to be held in Anuradhapura, is currently underway with offerings of water from the Tissa Wewa being planned to be utilised to commence a traditional, week-long Poson pirith-chanting ceremony at the Mahamevnawa’s Sacred Space (pirith mandapaya).

The procession escorting vessels filled with water from the Tissa Wewa, would commence from the historic Isurumuniya Raja Maha Viharaya to the sacred space on June 23.

The period between June 24 and June 30 had been declared the Anuradhapura National Poson Festival Week. The Poson festival steering committee’s head, Anuradhapura Government Agent (GA) R. M. Wanninayake, told the Daily News that all meat stalls and liquor shops in the district would be closed during the Poson week. He added that one million devotees were expected to visit Anuradhapura for religious observances during the festival.

The Mihintale Poson Sathi Pirith Pinkama commenced on May 17 and further, the Lake House annual Mihintale illumination programme would be initiated on June 26 and would continue for three days.

The government agent said all necessary infrastructural facilities, mainly security, electricity, drinking water and sanitation, had been made sufficient for around one million devotees expected to be present in Anuradhapura and Minintale during the religious celebrations. He said that amidst the prevailing drought, steps had been taken to provide adequate drinking water facilities to the public.

The Mahaweli Water-Management Committee had agreed to provide 6,000 acre-feet of Mahaweli water through the Kala Wewa and Nachchaduwa tank to the Tissa Wewa, Thuruwila Wewa and the Nuwara Wewa; the main sources of drinking water in the Anuradhapura district and its surrounding suburbs.

Meanwhile, a philanthropist in Minuwangoda, Sunil Jayasinghe, had agreed to provide 200,000 litres of cooled drinking water to devotees during Poson at Anuradhapura, Mihintale and Thanthirimale, using a fleet of bowsers.

Wanninayake urged the public not to use the Tissa Wewa and Nuwara Wewa tanks for bathing during the Poson celebrations as the festival steering committee had decided to ban such activities at the two tanks.

However, devotees could bathe in the Basawakkulama, Nachchaduwa, Mahakanadarawa and Bulankulama tanks, the three ponds between the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Mirisawetiya as well as the Malawathu Oya.

He warned that no lifeguards would be positioned at the Nuwara Wewa and Tissa Wewa and that police would also be present at the aforementioned sites.

It was expected that 100,000 devotees would observe atasil before the Samadhi Buddha Statue, the Ruwanwelisaya and the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi during Poson. The Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank would provide breakfast and gilanpasa to sil observers and Buddhist monks.

Government Agent Wanninayake said that the festival would hopefully be an eye-opener to those who were engaged in corrupt activities; an opportunity to repent and leave behind their wayward lifestyles. 


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