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Thingyan Water Festival (Burmese New Year)
April 13 - April 16
The Thingyan Water Festival is a water festival to commemorate Myanmar’s new year which usually falls in mid-April and lasts four to five days. This festival is a festival celebrated by Buddhists. The Thingyan Water Festival is an important holiday and holiday for Myanmar people. This event is similar to the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand.
At the celebration of the Thingyan Water Festival, everyone sprinkles water which is believed to wash away sins. In its development, the activity of watering each other has become a party event by spraying water from roadside stages accompanied by loud music, as well as traveling around using pickup trucks to be splashed by people on the side of the road.
What To Expect During Thingyan Water Festival?
Day 1: The festival begins with various religious rituals – alms are offered to the monks, followed by song and dance routines in the evening. You will see many a float with orchestras and bands of young men making rounds and singing classical Thingyan songs rather enthusiastically!
Day 2: This is a day when water pistols, pipes and buckets really come in handy. People start by throwing pots full of water onto the ground and praying. This is a celebration of the Burmese deity Thagya Min’s descent to earth and Brahmins make prophecies for the new year.
The streets are filled with temporary bamboo stages called ‘mandats’, erected mostly by the rich and powerful. Food stations for the hungry revelers can be found everywhere. People start dousing each other in water, children use water pistols, there is music and dancing, and passers-by are hosed down with glee.
Day 3: On the last day of the festival, Thagya Min returns home but some pranksters can still be found throwing water on each other until late in the afternoon. A word of caution – if someone tells you ‘Thagya Min has returned for his pipe’, make a run for it!
Day 4: New Year’s Day is one of quiet reflection. You can witness the Burmese washing the hair of their elders, offering food to monks, and bathing statues of the Buddha. People release captured fish into larger water bodies and say, ‘I release you once, you release me ten times’.
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