Myanmar Water Festivals (Tagu)The biggest festival in Myanmar is the water festival, called Thyngyan, held
in the second week of April, the local month of Tagu. According to the
Myanmar calendar, Thingyan is the period of transition from the old to New
Year, and to welcome in the New Year people cheerfully douse each other with
water. Teasing, playing and joking are all part of the spirit of the season.
But Thingyan is not all play; it also has a serious religious element.
According to folklore, Thagyamin , the king of celestia comes to earth at
this time in human form to check whether people are living and practicing
Buddhist ways. So it is the time to do good deeds and make up for all the
neglect and omissions one might be guilty of, and to resolve to do better
during the coming year. People fast, give alms and do good deeds. The
monasteries and pagodas teem with people of all ages, most of them there to
do good deeds. Young people sweep the grounds, wash building and help to
cooking for the monks. Some people offer snacks free to sightseers. The all
encompassing Thingyan goodwill and loving-kindness is an auspicious way to
start the New Year.