Myanmar or Burma has been long famous for it is “The Land Of Thousand Golden Pagodas” but along with that, there is also a variety of unique religious festivals held throughout the year in this beautiful Buddhism country. The most important of them all that have been strongly blending in the spiritual life of Burmese people are the light festivals, Tazaungdaing and Thadingyut Festivals Of Lights.
Tazaungdaing Lights Festival
Taking place during the 8th month of traditional Burmese calendar, from the middle of November, marking the end of rainy season in Myanmar, Tazaungdaing is believed to be the festival derived from the original Kattika where the names of the guardian planets in Hindu astrology are honored. To celebrate the festival, the residents decorate their houses and public buildings with colorful lights and candles. In the time of the festival, games, marching, firework performances, lanterns and hot-air balloon releases are also hosted and have become something that almost each and every single Burmese people always wait for.
The highlight of the festival is when several hot-air balloons made purely from bamboo and mulberry paper are ascended into the sky. Sparkling bright lights dotting the magnificent night sky will absolutely give you that impression of amazement. One interesting fact to know that most balloons are hand-painted by the locals of a single town, making the cost of building one could run up to thousands of dollars, yes, thousands of US dollars, no lie!
Participating in this event, you would also find the national inhabitants holding traditional lit lotus flowers parading the streets while few others will be playing various musical instruments and dancing in celebration of the final days of the festival. The unique and distinctive beauty of the festival together with the unforgettable experiences it shall bring upon you, I believe this could be that lifetime journey you should not miss coming to Myanmar.
Thadingyut Lights Festival
Being held on the full moon day of the Burmese Lunar month of Thadingyut, the festival is hosted in the honor of an ancient legend that when the Buddha was born, his Mother – Maya died and was taken to the Trayastrima Heaven. So to show his gratitude to his mother, Buddha preached Abhidhamma to his mother for the whole three Lenten months. Afterwards, when he was reborn in the mortal world, three precious stairways that made of gold, silver and ruby, respectively, were created to welcome him and his disciplines. Thus, the Thadingyut has been celebrated since to welcome the Buddha’s return by every Buddhism worshipers of Burma.
During the time when the event takes place, people will decorate houses and public buildings with numerous colorful electric bulbs or candles to represent those three stairways. There are also many delightful activities happened on the streets as this is the occasion for people to share joys and to give their heartfelt thanks to their dear beloveds.