FESTIVAL OF THADINGYUT (LIGHTING FESTIVAL)

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Date: full moon of the Buddhist lunar month of Thadingyut (30 October – 1 November 2020)

Location: Myanmar

The Fullmoon day of Thadingyut is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival (New Year Water Festival). On this day, budhists celebrate the coming of Buddha back from heaven after he had stayed there during Buddhist Lent, teaching his mother and other heavenly gods his various laws and doctrines.

Thadingyut festival lasts for three days: the day before the full moon day, the full moon day (when Buddha descends from heaven) and the day after the full moon day.

This festival is also known as the Lighting Festival of Myanmar. It is thought Buddha and other heavenly beings built a “star ladder” on Buddha’s way down to earth and that people put lights all over their homes to welcome him. Today, the tradition of lighting up buildings continues. Across the country, people also use clay lamps fuelled by sesame seed oil and a cotton wick.

On Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, there are fundraising drives for charities, musical performances, street dancing, and all manner of festivities and entertainment. During the festival days, Buddhists usually go to pagodas and monasteries to pay respect to the monks and offer foods. And some Buddhists usually fast on the full moon day. Young people usually pay respect (gadaw) to their parents, teachers, and elderly relative and offer them some fruits and other gifts. Also while paying homage the younger people usually ask for forgiveness from the wrong-doings they have caused upon their parents or the other elderly relatives throughout the year. And many couples get married after the long Lenten period, which traditionally is not supposed to have any weddings.

Come and enjoy this festival with us.

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