Touchstone Story #65–Full Moon Baby Day

More than 500 full moons have risen and set since 1967 when the Galle Lions Club was founded in the old port city on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. And over that time, tens of thousands of babies have been born in Galle.

These two cycles of nature may seem unconnected. But for the Galle Lions Club, they are the source of a unique and rich tradition of service.

Every month when there is a full moon, the day is called a poya. These 12 full-moon days of the year have deep significance in Sri Lankan culture. Poya days commemorate key events in the life of the Buddha, including his birth, enlightenment and death. There is also a poya day marking the Buddha’s first visit to the island around 528 B.C.E.

Leap forward 2,500 years to the Lions’ first meeting in Galle in 1967. Barely had the charter been read and the Lions’ flag unfurled when members began asking, “How will we serve?” Lady Lions and members’ spouses had the answer. Celebrate each poya day with gifts to babies born during that particular lunar month.

The women began sewing baby clothes and distributing them at local hospitals to the poor. They collected powdered milk, diapers, and other nursery items for poya day visits with mothers and their newborns.

Today, with men and women now participating as full Lions club members, the project continues to grow—proof that the Lion spirit of service shines everywhere that the moon does.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. They’re a great resource for promoting service at your club meetings!

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