Water

Water Festivals – Burma

In Many Southeast Asian Countries, the Water Festival is The New Year’s celebration. For example, countries like Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, Yunnan, Laos, and China welcome New Year with their water festival. Let’s take the water festival that is being celebrated in Burma as an example:

Water festival in Burma:

The official New Year of Burma comes in the second week of April every year. In their language, it is called as Thingyan which is known as water festival by many westerners. Thai New Year also falls in this time period and it is known as Songkran. They also celebrate their new year in a similar fashion.

Traditional way:

In the olden days, people gently sprinkled water on each other as a type of blessing. The concept behind this practice is to wash away past year’s sins with water and purify ones mind and spirit to be ready for the coming New Year. It is known as a 500 year old festival that lasts for about 3 days.

Present form of water festival:

As mentioned above, the present day water festival lasts for three days. The whole country goes into a festivity mode during those three days. On those days almost the whole country goes on a holiday mode. Instead of just sprinkling water on each other, they drench each other with water. Almost no one could escape from getting drenched, except may be the elderly.

Since this festival takes place at a hottest time of the year where the average temperature is known to be at 40 degrees Celsius, drenching could actually be quite helpful. There are temporary stages erected on the main roads that are called “pandals” that supply plenty of water to aid those who are determined to wet their fellow citizens. If you are a tourist traveling to these countries to have a diverse cultural experience then this is the best time of the year you could possibly choose.

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