Vap Poya (Vap Pura Pasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Day) marks the end of the 3 month retreat by Buddhist monks known as the Vas ‘rainy’ season. The laity offer Katina robes on Vap Poya to the Buddhist monks as an act of merit and to gain good Karma. The month is also called the Cheevara (Civara) Masaya – ‘Month of Robes’ or the Katina Masaya – ‘Month of Steadfastness’. Katina means ‘firm’, ‘strong ‘ or ‘solid’. Cheevara (or Civara) means ‘robe’.
Also known as the Vas (rain) season – this is a period of retreat where the monks stay indoors in their monastaries. Vap usually falls in October and is a public holiday in Sri Lanka. Buddhists all over the country visit Temples to observe Sil and make offerings of flowers and incense. As on all other Poya days the sale of liquor and meats is prohibited in this country and most commercial establishments are closed for business.