Sanghamita Day

Sanghamita Day

May-June; full moon day of Hindu month of Jyestha
Observed by Buddhists in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), this day celebrates the arrival of Sanghamita, daughter of Emperor Asoka of India, in 288 b.c.e. According to legend, Buddhism was first brought to Sri Lanka by a group of missionaries led by Mahinda, Asoka's son. Mahinda later sent for his sister, Sanghamita, who arrived with a branch from the Bodhi tree at Gaya, sacred to Buddhists as the tree under which the Buddha was sitting when he attained Enlightenment. The sapling was planted in the royal city of Anuradhapura, where Sanghamita founded an order of nuns. Buddhists still make pilgrimages to the city on this day to see what is believed to be the oldest documented tree in the world.
See also Poson
CONTACTS:
Sri Lanka Tourist Board
111 Wood Ave. S., Ste. 323
Edison, NJ 08820
732-516-9800; fax: 732-452-0087
www.srilankatourism.org
SOURCES:
BkHolWrld-1986, Dec 2