Thadingyut Festival – The Second most Famous Festival of Lights in Myanmar

Thadingyut Festival

The Thadingyut festival, the festival of lights is the second most famous festival in Myanmar. It is usually held on the full moon day of the Myanmar lunar month of the Thadingyut. This festival is the commemoration to welcome the Buddha’s descent from the heaven after preaching about the Abhidhamma to his mother.

History of Thadingyut Festival

Thadingyut festival is the seventh month in the Myanmar calendar. It is usually held for three days such as the day before the full moon day, the full moon day and the day after the full moon day. Seven days after the Buddha was born, his mother passed away. However she was reborn in the heaven. In order to show regard for his mother, Buddha sermonize Abhidhamma to his mother for three months. After that he returned to the mortal world. So this festival is in order to welcome Buddha by enlightening and adorning the streets and buildings with colored electric bulbs and candles.

Celebration of Thadingyut Festival

Thadingyut Festival Night Market
The Thadingyut Festival on Bogyoke Aung San road which is crowded with visitors and vendors

This festival can be regarded as the time for street fairs. One of the most famous festival in Myanmar is Yay Kyaw Thadingyut festival which is on the Bogyoke Aung San road in downtown Yangon. For 2018, this festival will start from 21st October to 25th October. For these days, the aroma of street foods cover along the road. Moreover, there are some cartoons which are created by the local artists. Most of the cartoons represent the contemporary political condition. During 1988 after the unrest, the military government restricted to celebrate this festival. However, they allowed to memorialize again after settling down the political situation. During 2000, the violent crime happened in the festival. So the issuing authorities restricted again the festival. Therefore it may be around 10 years that we were missing this carnival.

Characteristics of Thadingyut Festival

Thadingyut Festival
Offering pattern candle light to the pagoda during Thadingyut Festival

During this festival, you can see the pagodas and the homes with electric lights, colorful paper lantern and candles throughout the country. At this time, the people in Yangon usually go to famous religious sites such as Shwedagon and Botahtaung Pagodas. They go there in order to pay homage to Buddha and pray to gain merits. Furthermore, there are the several areas in Myanmar which have different styles of celebrating the Thadingyut festival. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda (the Golden Rock), people offer the 9000 candles and 9000 flowers. In Kyaukse, there is the elephant dancing festival on full moon day. In this festival, the Buddhists usually pay respect to their parents, teachers and relatives and offer them some presents. While paying homage to them, the younger people usually request the forgiveness from them. Traditionally, the elders tell the younger people that they forgive their mistakes and bless them to get good luck. Moreover, the elders give them some pocket money.

How about your countries? Do you have festival of light like us? Are they crowded with people and vendors? If you have ever faced this kind of festival, please share it in the comment. Hope this post will be one of the handy posts in our websites and wish we would be got rating.

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