Saturday, March 11, 2017

Burmese New Year Water Festival - Thingyan Festival

As usual, 13th to 17th April every year, Burmese people celebrate the water festival overall country, called Thingyan Festival. In order to throw away sins, unlucky things of previous year, Burmese people pour water to everyone they meet and wishing them will have the happy and lucky new year. Furthermore, this season is the ideal time to discover the Myanmar culture, custom and the daily life of local people via various kind of Burma tours which ATA designed based on the customer needs.

The Biggest Burma Festival

According the history, Thingyan originates from the Buddhist version of a Hindu myth. The King of Brahmas lost a wager to the King of Devas, Sakra aka Thagya Min, who then decapitated The King of Brahmas but then a head of an elephant was put onto the Brahma's body who then became Ganesha (The elephant god). 

The Brahma was so powerful that if the head were thrown into the sea it would dry up immediately. If it were thrown onto land it would be scorched. If it were thrown up into the air the sky would burst into flames. Sakra aka Thagya Min therefore ordained that the Brahma's head be carried by one princess Devi after another taking turns for a year each. The new-year henceforth has come to signify the changing of hands of the Brahma's head.

Sing, Dance and Pouring Water

Most of the Burmese ladies dress in the traditional uniforms sing together and dance the traditional stuffs as a single or dual or group. They pour water on everyone no matter even if it young or adult. The festival is held for 3 or 4 days. On the last day of the water festival, the enjoy most by pouring water and dancing the whole day. Some of the religious Burmese people visit to the monasteries for their merit during the festival instead of playing water or enjoying.

Moreover, some of the ethnic people held quite different than other and the way they held is interesting such as hold a bowl full of water and sip the Padauk flowers in it then to touch the people they wish to pour. When the water festival ended, the next day is Burmese New Year day.

On that day, the entire Buddhist visit to pagodas in the day time then in the evening, they invited monks to their streets to saying prayers to have a better future and drive out the evil spirits. Therefore, if you have never been experience with the Burmese traditional water festival, please do try visit Burma during that time.


During the celebrations it is impossible to walk down the street without someone tipping an icy cold bucket of water over you: great in the +40°C heat, not so great if you have your phone in your pocket!

You should purchase waterproof zip-lock dry-bags for our phones and armed with our waterproof Go-Pro we headed out onto the street! In under a minute we were drenched!


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