THINGYAN FESTIVAL (MYANMAR NEW YEAR WATER
This festival is known as
Myanmar’s Traditional New Year Festival or the Water
Festival. Every Myanmar citizen is happy on this day
and month. There are twelve months in Myanmar
calendar too. The first month of each year is
calculated from April and the last one is March.
According to Myanmar calendar, New Year Day falls on
every second week of April. There’s a tradition to
celebrate the water festival all over the country
for 4 days before New Year day by throwing water on
each other. Thingyan usually starts on 12nd April
and finishes on 16th April. The 17th April is
Myanmar New Year Day. According to the proofs and
references, this sort of water festival has been
celebrated in Myanmar since 500 years ago. Thingyan
Festival is celebrated all over the country. The
celebration style is a little different from each
city. In Myanmar this festival is called ‘Thingyan’
means “moving from one year to another”. It is quite
puzzling why people throw water on one another
during Thingyan Festival.
According to the ancient tradition of Myanmar, they
have committed sins the whole year. There is also a
belief that these sins could be washed away and
purified both in mind and spirit by throwing one
another with Thingyan Water. Thus everyone is happy
with a belief that they would be completely innocent
after they are purified physically and spiritually
in the next year. Besides, April is the hottest dry
season in the year. Therefore throwing buckets of
cold water can relieve the heat of the hot summer.
In cities temporary stages called pandal (from the
Tamil pendel) are erected along main thoroughfares.
Each pandal is sponsored by civic group,
neighborhood associations, student societies or
government departments, the members of whom stand
next to rows of water barrels and douse every person
or vehicle that passes by. On the other hand, there
can be seen Traditional Myanmar Thingyan Dance
performed in the big stages.
On a spiritual level, the Burmese believe that
during this three-day period the king of the nats.
Thagyamin, visit the human world to tally his annual
record of the good deeds and misdeeds humans have
performed. Villages place flowers and sacred leaves
in front of their homes to welcome the god.
Thagyamin's departure on the morning of the third
day marks the beginning of the New year.
As a meritorious deed, some youngsters wash the hair
of old people and them too. Moreover, there’s also a
custom to buy live fish and cows and let them loose
in sanctuaries or rivers or lakes on the final day
of Thingyan Ah-Tet Day (the final day of Thingyan).
This is a custom that concerns Myanma religion. Most
of the Myanmars believe in Theravada Buddhism and so
killing any living creature is a sinful act.
Myanmars will throw water on both Myanmar citizens
as well as tourists who visit Myanmar during this
festival with an intention to purify their mind and
spirit. If you are here at this time, you’ll feel
During the water festival, the temperature becomes
over 40 degrees C and wet clothing will be dried in
short time. The suitable clothing for water festival
requires a hat, half shirt, jeans, rubber sandal,
towel and etc. In case you bring a camera or video
you are required to prepare transparent plastic bag
to protect it from the splashing water.
May you be able to visit Myanmar then and all your
sins be purified with Thingyan Water.
***Special Tour Program
with Water Festival