Higher Ordination Festival (Upasampada Mangalle )
The ceremony of Higher Ordination of novice monks was initiated by king Kiriti Sri Rajasimha during whose time the higher ordination was re-established with the help of monks from Thailand (Siam). The ceremony which continues to this day is held between the full moon days of May and June. Following the order of the king, five monks of each of the two Chapters, Malvatta and Asgiriya, receive higher ordination. These ten novice monks are called Vahalanaga. The king himself offered the eight-fold requirements (Ata-Pirikara) to them, and this tradition is now carried out by the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of Tooth. The Vahalangas in princely garments are taken in procession to the two monasteries arranged by the Dalada Maligava. Finally the monks receive higher ordination at the hands of the chief prelates of the two monasteries. For each monk, a teacher and a preceptor are appointed at this ceremony and thereafter the ordained monks are expected to lead the life of virtuous monks under the tutelage of these prelates.
The full moon day of the month of May being celebrated by the Buddhist world to commemmorate the birth, the enlightenment and the demise of the Buddha, the Dalada Maligawa too, holds special religious ceremonies which include the holding of a procession.
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