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Monthly Festivals in Myanmar
AuthorAla Tha …    文章CopyFromASEAN    Hits810    UpdateTime2007-7-24    
April Water Festival
May Pouring water on the sacred Bo-Tree
June Monks Examination for the Religious Texts
July The Ordination Ceremony
August Offering meal to Monks by drawing lots
September The Royal Regatta
October The Light Festival
November Multiple Festivals
Decembers Literaly Day and Day for the Homage to Mahaina yaha
Felruary Comunity cooking Festival
March Pagoda Eestival on sand banks
April Water Festival
The water festival is the one celetrated on the eve of the Myanmar New Year day, calculated by the lumar calender. The new year sometimes falls in the Myanmar monthe of Tagu and sometimes in Kasone. Because the Myanamr calender is based on the Lumar year. It faces after 354 days from the last new year. However according to the solar calender, the new year falls usually on the 17th. After and the waterfestival begins on the 13th April.

During the time of the festival, the Myanmar people used to perform religious deeds and the children and the middle-aged people play spleshing water in one anothers. In the olden days they sprimreed water with the twigs of the Engemia Tree very gently. Nowadays they make themselves totally drenched. Those who are exemfrted from this wetness are oldaged people, those who are going to Pagodas and the serviceman on duty the pregmant women.

The speeshing with water signifies the furity, consulidation and coolness which represent the loving seindness of the people. The festival rooted even in the days of Pagan kings.

On the new year day there is the tradition of treating the elderly people washing their helds and trimming this nails. They pay homage to the Pagodas, washing the Buddha images and setting free the lives of livestocks.

There is the belief that Inda came down to earth to make records of benevolent deeds and evildoings of the peoples.

May Pouring water on the sacred Bo-Tree
The festival of pouring water on the sacred Bo-tree is one of the festivals desianated for the month of Kasone which canbeidentified with the month of May. The Buddhists, the majority of the Myanmar nationals pay respect to the Sacred Bo-tree. It was the tree under which the Sord Buddha altaimed the Eneightenment. Since the time of Buddha it was permitted to pay homage to that tree during this alsence.

The people poured water to that sacred tree on everymonth of Kasoen. In all parts of the country the people flanted the saplings of that tree they acquird from the original Bo-Tree in Buddha gaya or from Sri Lanha and pay homage to them.

In summer, as the water dried up it needs to pour water for the surivece of the tree. Therefore the day was specially cuosen for the full moon day of the month as it coucides with the day of Enghtenment, the Birth day, and the day of Demire.

The people orgamize the festival very grandly. The day is also known as the Buddha Day.

Early on that morning the being of gires from the locality, embracing or carrying on the head, the water-filled frots moved in nows and the other people holding paper vanners and a jully musical troupe follows suit. Some people wore the robes of Devas or Brahmas to be in their disgise pasticinated. It illustrates that those ligh beings did participated in old days.

On that day the months of the Holy order recites the verse of rejoice reginings with "A nevea rsaarse". Then the participants your the scented water on the root of the ficus Religosa, the Botree. It is taken as a workship to living Buddha. The say trayers too.

The well treatment including building walls around, sufforting into branches and watering is considered a meritorious deed. The leaves of the seacred Bo Tree is papering long to be different from those of the ardinary Ficus Trees.

June Monks Examination for the Religious Texts
The religious examinations are usually held during the month of NaYone. For the profitiousness of the Buddhist religion one of major duties is the propergation of the faith. For that the religious examinations are essential.

Since the time of the Myanmar Kings, the religious Examinations for the novices and monks alive, were held in the court yard annually including written test and viva voice. His majesty in the sole doner. It was cellerated remarkally. Nowadays the religious examinations were held for and wide all over the country. In Yangon, the neveralie her as of the Sasana are relected among those who can recite all books of Pitaka.

Among these examinations, there are different levels begining from the lover level to middle and higher levels. The surpassing ones are highly hanoured. There are examinations for the recital of Vinayas. (Law of the Order). These are also mastership examinations. These are systematically tesled and the result was ammounced after all.

The prize imming novices, runs and monks are duty awarded with the certificates, envlems and allowances as rice or money. There are religious examinations on the Buddhist Prinlosoflny, (Metre- Physics) for the lay people. The awarding ceremony is graudly held. There are numerrss doness for are occasion.

It is to take pride to pass such examinations. The examinations on Mangala Suttra for young folks held by the religious associations.

During the time of kings the candidateds were mobly treated, and were gramted a temparary prince status allowing them to was frincely costumes on the occasion.

King Min done was especially noted for his religious service. He encouraged his sons to sit for the examinations. The east King Thi-Law in said to have passed three times the examination the religious texts. Now also such examinations were still held.

July The Ordination Ceremony
The ordinaton ceremony and sending the boy into novicehood is the usual festival of the month Wago. Although these ceremonies can be held during the other months, the month of Wazo when the Buddhist Sent begins is marked for these special celebrations.

Buddhist boys attaming the age of 7 or 8 can enter novicehovd, and the youths howing full 20 years of age can be ordained into monks. It is regarded as the holiest accasion to inherit the legacy of the Buddha.

For that ceremony, the devotee should be qualified by age. There must be assensly of five monks at least to conduct the ordimation. There must be also a complete set of paraprernalia tertaing to a monk, ing three prieces of yellow robe, an alms lowl, a loin strip, a rozos, needle and thread, a water strainer, a mall leather mat and a palm leaf fan.

The condidate should first be a novice and then can be ordined. The monk-to-be would be able to recite Pali verse correctly in tronunciation and accent. The ceremony starts in the early morning. There cna be procession of pastipcents and entertainment with least and the cial music. The ceremony is held on the larish sclae of festivals.

The months and fathers of the Novice as Monk can take pride for their meritorious deeds.

For the ardimation ceremony the newcomes is asked several questions as to his human rature, freedom from boadags, this male hood, the parenits consent, the relief from the deft and to be away from skim disease. Then he is duly ordamied.

After attaring the Noble order, he has to be alided by the law of the Order obserivng 227 sections thereof. If he is varfy with the sacred life he can continue throughout has life. If he desires to leave, he can leave usually after a week in minimum.

The dones after the ceremony shares his meditorious deeds and the music concludes with the joyfue atmosphere.

August Offering meal to Monks by drawing lots
In the month of Wagaung, the popular festiveal is the offering of swun (rice of monks) or other offertories, to monks by drawing the eots. As there are offertories of different sorts and different values, it is better to choose the recipient by drawing lots. There will be no problem of accessing the priority. In these festivals all the pullie irrestfective of wealth status comparticipate.

In the olden days the dice for the lot is made out of the bamboo sticks whereas nowaday it is made with a seroll of paper. The names of the Monks or the Monastery are written down on a piece of paper and roll it so as not to be seem easily. The winner or the designated item of offertories are selected according to the lot drawn and the foresentation of alms are conducted duly.

That system of casting the lot was already prevalent during the days of the Lord Buddha. When the number of recipient monks was less than that of the doneers, the malter was solved by casting the lot. Or sometimes the value of a pasticular offertorigs was higher, the problem was solved in the same manner.

The people believe that by offering by casting the cot, one will be lucky enough to win a lottery prize. When there are different items of the offestories, these are noted on the lots to be cast. Now we call it as ficking up of the lucky dip. The same system was used for charity meals.

The festival in celebrated in the month of Wagaung, a few weeks after the begining of the Buddhist sent for the monks who stay decidedly in the Monastery. Sometimes, some individual was the rarest chance by his luck to make offerings, soem other one not lucky enough tries to being.

You can feel thrills in the festival and there is a load applause when somebody wins an awfue prize. All the people rich or poor can participate in this festival and be happy.

September The Royal Regatta
The Royal regatta was held during the days of Myanmar Kings in the month of Towthalin when there is a wereless surface on the river Ayayawaddy. The Royal family went ant to the scence in full royal escort.

The Myanmar people are fond of boat races and they are willing to learn the techniques of rowing in a better way. There has been 37 established manness of rowing. The rowing needs a super to physical fitness and only the ablelody can tarticipate. The old time rowers wore golden helmet, silver trace let and a scarlet loin cloth with proper decbrations.

The boatmen require unity, strength, sacrifice, fair minded mels and cooperation. Due to this wholes once credit nowadays that festival has been resumed again with a great swing. In these festivals the trained rowers from different divisions and those representing various ministries, take part in the traditional boat races. In these evenls the leg rowers from Inlay can be awefully watched. We can see the traditional boats of the alden days.

Teh winners are awarded with silver lowls, prize money and material objects. All over the surface of Knadawgyi, the Royal Lake, and around it are the entertaing troupes, some in the beautifully lit pandals and some on the moving vessels. The crowed in quite enormous. There are food stalls adn shops selling differet commodities and advertising booths, all along the naveway.

The most interesting venue in the Union boat on which teh boy and girls wearing the respective ethnic costumes gaily display. They illustrate the unity and common goal for all.

On the surface of the lake and is the pendols over bank entertains the audience with such music and dances performed by the selected astistes and nocalists. The scene is also Filenvised. The race covers the traditional and modern methods of nowing.

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