Uposatha practice time

Just a short question on Uposatha:
Is Uposatha traditionally practiced from 00:00 to 00:00 or from morning to evening?


The best way is dawn-until-dawn of the next day, in line with the monastic way of the day starting at daybreak.

E.g. if you get up at 5:30am, you don’t put on jewellery etc because you are intending for it to be your uposatha. If you are taking 8 precepts at the temple, the request can be made in the morning at the temple (but it might be 8:30am-11am already by the time you get to temple.) If you are doing it at home, the self-determination can also just be made in the morning. In any case, the start-time is still daybreak.

That evening, there is no dinner (juice or drinks are highly recommended); and the precepts should be observed until dawn the next day (no 2am snacking).

You give up the eight precepts by taking five precepts again the next morning. But the important thing is to be clear to yourself which precepts you are observing.

Keeping eight precepts is wonderful, who knows, you might not want to stop!


Thank you for your help, Venerable,
I am not familiar with the english term daybreak, does it mean when waking up or does it maybe mean when the sun comes up?
Nevermind I should have googled it longer, it seems it is when the sun comes up.


Daybreak…at the break of day = Pali arunuggamana.

One way of knowing when it is daybreak is that there is enough light to see the lines on the palms of your hand.

This is closer to civil dawn than nautical dawn, and I have just been using the published civil dawn and solar noon times for my area.

The last time I used the hand thing was when I was travelling.

—> so good to know if you are in the habit of having an early breakfast, as eating too early can also be vikala bhojana.


Thank you, I found the right times for my city.

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Thank you Ayya.

That’s very helpful information, I knew about the hand test, but live in an area with a lot of light pollution and didn’t know what “civil dawn” corresponded to.

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I’m still waiting for someone to make a Google calendar plugin that will autofill the correct times daily based on your location.

EDIT: I just confirmed, if you are in Australia, you can actually get the whole year CSV file from Aus Gov Geo Science Geodetic Calculators for a given latitude/longitude. But still not autofill.

These days I mostly use Google calendar for uposatha/poya day dates.

Whoever made the Splendid moons calendar is a legend, it changed my life.


Nice this confirms it, thank you! I always based it on the AN 3.70 sutta where it says “For this day & night” so turns out was pretty accurate - dawn-until-dawn :smiley:


On the same note, I wonder if Uposatha is (meant by the Buddha to be) the same in Deva realms where one day & nights is actually 50 years or more :rofl: That’s some hardcore Uposatha for those practicing the path up there!