Saturday, July 12, 2014

Myanmar: Experiencing the Thingyan Water Festival in Yangon

Thingyan Water Festival / Burmese New Year
April 13 - 15, 2014 

Traveling to Myanmar and participating in a water festival -- two more items ticked off my bucket list! Super thanks to my travel buddy, Kate, for this wonderful, memorable trip!   Mingalabar!  

Water fight along Lower Pazundaung Road. Thanks to the wonderful staff of Motherland Inn! photo 10155742_10203269236519184_1672660787719065725_n.jpg

Ninja shot of the water fight along Lower Pazundaung Road. Thanks to the wonderful staff of Motherland Inn! photo 10274212_10203269257559710_916806694547036052_n.jpg

"Thingyan is the Myanmar New Year, the highlight of which for many is often the famous Water Festival from April 13th to 16th.

In Myanmar tradition, one has to welcome Thingyan clean in both body and mind. Sprinkling water on other people is intended to wash away one’s sins of the previous year. 

The Water Festival originated in the traditional Burmese custom of bidding farewell to the old year and greeting the new. Traditionally, Thingyan involves the sprinkling of scented water in a silver bowl using sprigs of thabyaya (an evergreen tree). This scented water was sprinkled to cleanse friends and family members while the Buddhist god, Thangya Min, came to earth to grade each person’s life over the past year. This tradition remains strong in rural areas today. 

Among Myanmar’s 12 festivals, the Thingyan Water Festival is considered the grandest, as it is believed to bring peace and prosperity. The Water Festival starts on day one (April 13th this year), with the first day of Thingyan being known as “A Kyo Nei”. It is a marvellous celebration marked by religious activities across the country as Buddhists renew their faith by vowing to uphold the tenets of their beliefs.

Monks are lavished with offerings and alms. A particular offering is a green coconut decorated with bunches of green bananas and sprigs of thabyay that is placed before an image of the Buddha and sprinkled with scented water.

The evenings bring music, song and dance in anticipation of the Festival the next day. Pavilions or stages called “pandal” are built in cities and towns and it is from these water throwing pandal that people splash water on each other and passersby during the Festival."   


Sending you happy thoughts...

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