Hundreds of thousands of Buddhists are also converging on Anuradhapura, the ancient capital, where the then Sinhala monarch, King Devanampiya Tissa embraced Theravada Buddhism following his meeting with Arahat Mahinda.
Security has been stepped up in the sacred day, and, in contrast to the low-key Vesak, more decorations, dansal and pandals have come up for Poson.
According to Deputy Inspector General Senarath Sandungahawatta, 4,227 police personnel have been assigned to Anuradhapura and Mihintale where the main religious activities are being held.
He said 2,735 police personnel had been assigned for work in ten police areas within Anuradhapura and Mihintale, while more than 1,000 had been assigned for traffic duty. In addition, 246 policemen in civvies and 150 officers of the Police Lifeguard Association had been called in. There would be checkpoints, patrols and sniffer dogs, he said.
In addition, more than 2,000 armed forces personnel and another 2,000 Civil Defense Force cadres would be on standby, he said.
The police have designated 20 car parking areas in Anuradhapura city and six in Mihintale.
The Poson Poya religious activities began yesterday at Anuradhapura, Mihintale and Thanthirimale.
Pirith chanting which began on Thursday will continue till next Wednesday.
District Secretary R.M Wanninayake, who heads the Poson Celebration Committee, said more than a million pilgrims were expected at Mihintale and Thanthirimale. Public facilities have been arranged, while special trains are operating between Anuradhapura and Mihintale from yesterday and they would in operation until Monday midnight.
Mihintale, Thanthirimale, Isurumuniya and the stupas at Mirisawatiya, Thuparama, Lankaramaya, Abhayagiriya have been illuminated.
Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. is illuminating the Thanthirimale Temple. The Lankadeepa Poson illumination is being done for the 16th year.
The illumination was ceremonially switched on by Wijeya Newspapers Director Siri Ranasinghe, who is also the Chief editor of Daily Lankadeepa, while the temple illuminations was switched on by Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Chairman Ranjith Wijewardene.
The event was attended by the North-Eastern Province Sanghanayaka, the Ven Thanthirimale Chandarathana Thera, who is the Chief incumbent of Thanthirimale Temple.
State Defence Minister of Defence and non-cabinet Mass Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Deputy Chairman Sujan Wijewardene also took part.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by sundaytimes.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)