“Hoping these waters will wash away the ‘wily tricks’ of the Government of Myanmar and bring peace to the country with Free and Fair Election”
As the world anticipates the General election scheduled for later this year in November, the commoners in Yangon take a dip in the cool splashes, fighting away the hot summer.
Thingyan, the Burmese Water Festival came to an end with bucketful of smile and laughter. This water festival is a tradition where they believe that the water washes away the old habits and sins of the old year. It is held every year from 13th April to 16th April.
Youths indulges in water sports and various other entertainment, while the elders go to religious shrines and perform rites during the festival. Tourist or local alike, you cannot stay away from getting wet, with everybody throwing water on everyone in good spirits.
“This is now, not just a religious festival but transformed into a social and cultural festival in the country. It is enjoyed by all people of different faiths with all kinds of rock music performing on the streets. Many other traditional Buddhists still do merits and spend time meditating” , says Athong Makury, a Linguistic Researcher currently stationed in Yangon.
According to Burmese belief, the end of this festival (April 16 and 17) is the day that introduces the New Year.
This Old Military Regime is set to conduct their first General Election under a democratically elected government. According to Reuters, Myanmar will be inviting western observers to monitor the election, to ensure that it is a free and fair one. However, Aung Saan Suu Kyi says that boycotting election is still an option. She reasons her doubt saying that President Thein Sein is still insecure about reform and might try to postpone it.
As the country still grapples for a strong democracy, the common people in Myanmar are hopeful that these waters will wash away the ‘wily tricks’ of the Government of Myanmar and bring peace to the country with Free and Fair Election’.
At the impending election, they hope that the Water Festival of 2015 will be significant of the change they have waited for over 50 long years. And with their hope, the world awaits for the big day.
PS: All you need is 50,000 INR ( $800 USD) to enjoy the 5 day long festival in Yangon. It will cover your travel expense, the food & lodging as well.
Photos are Contributed by Athong Makury. Please CLICK HERE if you would like to view his complete collection.