October - Thadingyut
Thadingyut is a seven-month of Burmese calendar and the end of lent.
Three days of lights festival, namely the day before full moon, the full
moon day and the days after. Illuminations are there to celebrate the
anniversary of Buddha's return from the celestial abode where He had
spent the lent teaching the celestials about His Law. Among the gods was
the one who was the mother of Buddha, reborn there. It was on the full
moon day of Thadingyut month that Buddha descended to the abode of
humans. He and His disciples were attended by a heavenly host of
celestials who created a pathway of star ladder. Buddhist on earth
illuminated the homes and streets to welcome Buddha and His disciples
Thadingyut Lighting Festival
Myanmar riches in culture, lies between two great
civilizations, India and China, but has developed its own distinctive
culture. Buddhism has great influence on the daily lives of Myanmar. All
the year round Myanmar has full of Festival. In March, there is a
Festival, the Festival of Sand Pagodas on Full Moon Day of Tabaung:
Mid-April, Thingyan Water Festival: in May, the Festival of Moon Day of
Warso-Damacekya Day and such.
Coming October will be Full Moon Day of Thadingyut,
Lighting Festival. The festival is held at the end of the lent on the
festival day it as a custom. It celebrates the descent of Buddha from
heaven after he preached the Abidhama (the most difficult of Buddhist
teaching) to his mother reborn in heaven.
A season of Lighting Festival
The festival in a small town and villages are more enjoyable than in cities.
In small towns, there are small earthen saucers filled with sesame oil
where pieces of cotton are used as wicks. People collect donations for
charity, decoration and entertainment purposes. Roads and streets are
full with amateur dancing groups, music troupes, stalls and spectators
for free entertainment.
On the festival day, groups of young people and children can be seen
walking with candles and gifts in their hands to pay respect elders. In
Burmese we call Kadaw, actually it is more than paying respects or doing
obeisance. For the Buddhist, the Buddha, His law, His Order of the
Sangha, Parents and Teachers are the first to be reserved, next come
those who are older and those to whom we owe gratitude.
Colourful Lotus Oil Lamps
The Thadingyut Setting Oil Lamps Festival of
Shwe Kyin in Bago Division in Southern Myanmar is very famous in our
country. It is annually held on the 1st day after the Thadingyut full
moon day. The objectives of
this festival are to offer lights to Lord Buddha and Shin U Pa Gotta by
setting the colourful oil lamps into the Shwe Kyin River. The girls of
Shwe Kyin manufacture these oil lamps by themselves to gain merit. So,
you can see the happy team making of oil lamps by beautiful girls of
Shwe Kyin. In making oil lamps, the first step is to cut the colourful
oilpaper around 2 by 4 feet. The oilpaper is a kind of smoky paper, so
that it can resist heat and permit long hour of lighting and prevent
from burning easily. Later, it is systematically cut the lotus shaped
cups and stuck with glue. In sticking to get the shape of lotus cup, the
skill is needed. Then the liquid wax is poured into lotus shaped cup
paper and the wick is buried in the middle before the liquid wax gets
formed. The wick is compacted to light a long time. Finally, you can
pleasantly see the colourful, lotus oil lamps. Infestival days it is
made to set and light 50 thousand oil lamps for not only the people from
Shwe Kyin but also the people, visited from respective regions. On the
festival days, the girls from Shwe Kyin who manufacture the oil lamps
the whole day without tiredness feel refreshed and pleasant by setting
and lighting the colourful lotus oil lamps.
Thadingyut Setting Oil Lamps Festival of Shwe Kyin
In Myanmar, there are seasonal festivals every month according to the
Myanmar Calendar. These festivals develop harmony among the Myanmar
People and make them relax mentally and physically.
When the Thadingyut month comes, which falls in October, the Thadingyut
festival, which is also known as the War Kyut festival is celebrated
throughout the country.
The Thadingyut setting oil lamps festival celebrated at Shwe Kyin Township,
Bago Division is the most popular. On the day before the festival, the
offering of Hsundawgyi which are rice, onion, potatoes, ginger and
On the festival day, the competition of decorated boats is also held along the
Shwe Kyin River. The people not only from Shwe Kyin but also from other
regions nearby come to this festival and participate it.
Beautifully decorated Motor Boats compete in Shwe Kyin River the whole
day. When the sun sets, the beautifully decorated Karaweik Barge which
carries the image of Lord Buddha and the Stupas of Shin Upa Gotta monk
turns right three times to accept the homage of the people's
worshipping. Then, the people fire firecrackers and setting oil lotus
lamps along the Shwe Kyin River. There are countless oil lamps in the
river. This kind of scene is very delightful and peaceful.After lighting
the camps, the stupa of Shin U Pa Gotta from the Karaweik Barge is moved
to the bamboo raft, which is covered by the bamboo fence and then set
According to the Buddha teaching, it is believed that the setting of
Shin U Pa Gotta Stupas in the river will save and protect the people who
make a living on the water. So, we welcome you all to join the
Thadingyut Setting oil lamps festival of Shwe Kyin.
Dummy Elephants festival
is held in Kyauk-Se
located 30 miles south of Mandalay. It is only 2 days long, the day
before full moon and full moon day. Numerous life side paper dummy
elephants perform dance with accompaniment of music. Elephant, the
largest land animal, which still survives on earth, are awesome by their
sheer size and power gain prominence and stories of Buddhism that come
to acquire important role in Myanmar tradition and history. Myanma kings. The cult of lucky mascot is as old as any
civilization, Myanma King also believed to possess white elephants for
auspiciousness, capable of bringing longevity, prosperity and good
fortune to mankind. According to story, King Anawrahta (AD1044 -77)
received a replica of scared Tooth Relic of Buddha from Sri Lanka at
Bagan, he brought it on the back of the white elephant named Palei Pyon-
Pearl smile. Anawrahta built 5 Tooth Relic Stupas at 5 places where the
white elephant knelt down to indicate the auspicious site. Four pagodas
in around Bagan and one in Pyet Kha Wei Hill near Kyaukse. The white
elephant brought Tooth relic accompanied with several royal elephants.
To commemorate this occasion, in the time of pagoda annual festival, a
white dummy elephant carry a tooth relic and followed by his companions
of black dummy elephants. At the end of ceremony, there is elephant
Kyaikhtiyo pagoda festival
- The Golden Rock is celebrated around
mid of October.The Golden bolder standing precariously on the edge of rock in the highest
peak of Mountain and it is said that the bolder stand freely for more
than two thousands year by wish of the builder.
Competition of Decorated Boats in Shwe Kyin Creek
Every October, Shwe Kyin in Bago Division celebrates a traditional festival.
The aims of holding that festival are- to maintain and preserve
traditions, - to value and cherish cultural heritage,
- Devotees all over the region take part happily and deeply understand
the meaning of that festival.
When the day comes, on the bank of Shwe Kyin river near Shwe Kyin town,
central pavilion and judging podium are built, Boats from various
villages, and Township in Shwe Kyin take part in the festival.
The types of boats complete in the festival are choral dancing boat,
Tatkhot and Tet Pyan boats. In Tatkhot dance, dancers have to row the
boat according to the rhythm. In Tet Pyan dance, dancers use paddle and
dance as if they are flying in the air. This dance is traditional since
the time of Myanmar monarchs.
Each competing group has to create specific dances to excel others;
songs for the competition have to be composed by each group. One will
also witness not only the boats are decorated beautifully but
competitors also wear the uniform to preserve national culture. Among
them, you'll also see national races taking part.
No matter how tired rowers are during the competition, they are pleased
with the awards when the judges announce the result of the day's events.
Actually, the value of the award is a minor issue. What the Shwe Kyin
residents cherish is the pride of holding regatta festival annually,
that is one of the traditional festivals of Myanmar.