Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival and usually falls around mid-April (the Burmese month of Tagu). It is a Buddhist festival celebrated over a period of four to five days culminating in the new year.
Formerly the dates of the Thingyan festival are calculated according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar, but now fixed to Gregorian calendar 13 to 16 April; it often coincides with Easter.The dates of the festival are observed as the most important public holiday throughout Burma and are part of the summer holidays at the end of the school year.
Water-throwing or dousing one another from any shape or form of vessel or device that delivers water is the distinguishing feature of this festival and may be done on the first four days of the festival.
Ficus religiosais a species of fig native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, south-west China and Indochina. It belongs to the Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family.
It is also known as the Bo-Tree (from the Sanskrit Bodhi: “wisdom”, “enlightened”, and as a Sinhalization of this the Sinhala Bo) Buddhist legend tells of Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating underneath the Bodhi tree, a Ficus religiosa. The site is in present day Bodh Gaya in Bihar.
The Original Bodhi tree which is in Bodh Gaya got destroyed due to various influences of Hindu And Mougal invaders and believe to be the current tree is either its 3rd or 4th genaration which rises from the root of the original tree. The only Remaining branch of the original Bodhi tree is Still Stood in Anuradahapura Srilanka Known as Jaya sri Maha Bodhi The known planting date of the latter, 288 BCE, gives it the oldest verified age for any flowering plant (angiosperm) In the world.
The Thadingyut Festival, the Lighting Festival of Myanmar is held on the full moon day of the Burmese Lunar month of Thadingyut. As a custom, it is held at the end of the Buddhist lent (Vassa) and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival (New Year Water Festival).
Thadingyut festival is the celebration to welcome the Buddha’s descent from the heaven after he preached the Abhidhamma to his mother, Maya, who was reborn in the heaven.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
The Inle Lake Region of Burma is not only aesthetically compelling, it is also historically important. The lake is the site of the deeply revered Buddhist site Phaung Daw Oo (variantly Hpaung Daw U) Pagoda which houses five gilded images of Buddha of different sizes that are no longer discernible (as Buddhas) because they have been covered with thousands of gold leaves over time.
The fluvial procession that takes place during the waxing of the moon until three days after the full moon of Thadingyut (from September to October) and takes these images around the stilted villages of Inle Lake is the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival.
It is widely attended by thousands of devotees from the Shan state and around country. Because of Burma’s isolation in recent years, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of Southeast Asian festivals that mirror the people’s authentic celebration of their faith and local culture, an apt and colorful introduction to any travel to Myanmar.