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Myanmar Festival

1. April - Thingyan (water festival)

Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival and usually falls around mid-April (the Burmese month of Tagu). It is called the 'Water Festival' by Westerners because people splash / pour water at one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the New Year.
The festival lasts four or five days.

2. May - Kason (banyan tree watering ceremony)

In Myanmar,the traditional festival of pouring water on the Bohdi tree is held in Kason. Tree worship was one of the prehistoric beliefs and it was quite prevalent in Stone Ages. Later, it was passed down to early civilizations. Myanmar indigenous races have the custom of worshipping tree-god (the guardian spirit of tree) called Yokka-soe who is believed to be benovolent to humans.

On the occasion of Kason festival, it is customary practice of Myanmar Buddhists to move fish and turtles from nearby dry ponds and lakes to places where there is abundant water. This merit is regarded as a life-saving act of charity

Text by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt

3. October - Thadingyut (festival of lights)

The Thadingyut Festival , the Lighting Festival of Myanmar, is held on the full moon day of the Burmese Lunar month of Thadingyut. As a custom, it is held at the end of the Buddhist lent (Vassa) and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival (New Year Water Festival). Thadingyut festival is the celebration to welcome the Buddha’s descent from the heaven after he preached the Abhidhamma to his mother, Maya, who was reborn in the heaven.

4. November - Tazaungdine (Kahtein festival - offering robes to Buddhist monks)

Held on the full moon day of Tazaungmon according to the Myanmar Calendar, this festival finds houses and public buildings decorated and brightly lit. Robes and other requisites are offered to monks with the special offering of Mathothigan - a robe that is woven in one single day - held on the eve of the full moon. Dedicated teams of weavers compete with one another to complete the robes, which are then reverently offered to images of Buddha.

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