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Water Festival ( Tagu )


The biggest festival in Myanmar is the water festival, called Thingyan, held in the second week of April, the local month of Tagu.

According to the Myanmar calendar, Thingyan is the period of transition from the old to New Year, and to welcome in the New Year people cheerfully douse each other with water. Teasing, playing and joking are all part of the spirit of the season. But Thingyan is not all play; it also has a serious religious element. According to folklore, Thagyamin, the king of celestials comes to earth at this time in human form to check whether people are living and practicing Buddhist ways. So it is the time to do good deeds and make up for all the neglect and omissions one might be guilty of, and to resolve to do better during the coming year.

People fast, give alms and do good deeds. The monasteries and pagodas teem with people of all ages, most of them there to do good deeds. Young people sweep the grounds, wash buildings and help to cooking for the monks. Some people offer snacks free to sightseers. The all encompassing Thingyan goodwill and loving-kindness is an auspicious way to start the New Year.