Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy Thingyan (New Year) from Yangon, Burma

It is New Year time in South East Asia and South India. To be specific, it is the New Year in Burma, South India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and South China. I am in Burma to celebrate their New year which is called Thingyan. This is to celebrate the movement of the sun from Pisces to Aries and is celebrated all over the country as the water festival.

Enjoying the water festiaval - Thingyan at Yangon, Burma
This festival typically lasts 4 days in full fervor, but the whole country comes to a stop for 6 days. Since this also coincides with the summer holidays in schools, it is celebrated with full enthusiasm all over the country. I am in Yangon currently and have been seeing the events unfold from yesterday.

Water Festival at Myanmar
There are big water stations located at all important locations of the city and the smaller water stations can be seen all around. Then, there are people using water guns, buckets and mugs to splash water around all the tourists and locals. This is part of the fun and you can repay the favor too by splashing water from your side. The most fun comes with the water stations, both big and small. While the big ones have live music being played, it is the small ones that use fore hoses to wash you down with full intensity.

A water station near Sule Pagoda, Yangon, burmaIn the big ones, it is more like sprinklers that make it feel like widespread rain. Both the small and big water stations are enjoyable especially if it is a hot day. Both of them are organized with a dedicated passage for vehicles to enter and the stations are wide so everyone gets an opportunity to get fully drenched. I have been enjoying the water festival for the last two days and I hope to keep enjoying the next four days. The only thing to keep in mind while you enjoy the water festival is keep your money and gadgets dry by keeping in a waterproof or dry bag.

Happy Thingyan to all of you from Myanmar!

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