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Thingyan Water Festival hosted by the Myanmar Students at Siam University


Thingyan Water Festival at Siam University

Thingyan, which means “transit”, is the Myanmar New Year Festival and is held in the month of Tagu, the first month of the Myanmar Calendar, which usually falls on 13th April and lasts for three or four days. Thingyan is the festival in which you can get the greatest fun for the longest period. This festival is also celebrated in neighboring Buddhist countries; Songkran in Thailand and Laos, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia.

This year Myanmar student from Siam University also organized a Thingyan festival at the Peace Garden Siam University On 5th April 2018 where there were about 200 students participated from several nationalities such as Nigerian, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Chinese and Finnish students.

What happened at the event?

Myanmar student perform some traditional dance

And then some other Myanmar student cooked some traditional food and sweets and serve it to all the participants with joy.

After that is to create a very traditional Myanmar atmosphere where all the young women grind Thanakha bark and roots into a fine powder. The ground thanaka powder is dissolved in holy water to create a liquidy paste that’s poured over images of Buddha. and then they apply thanakha powder in circular patches, stripes, or ornate leaf patterns on the cheeks, noses, and forehead of all participants.

Why do Myanmar people celebrate by splashing a water?

There are many accounts of the origin of the Water Festival and one of them is from a Hindu myth.

One day, the King of Brahmas, Arsi had a dispute about astrology with the King of Devas, Śakra. After the constant disagreement, they decided to descend to earth to undergo arbitration from the master of astrology. And they agreed that the loser should be punished by having his head cut off.

In the end, Śakra was declared the winner, but he didn’t want Brahmas to cut off his head. In order, however, to comply with the agreement, Brahmas cut his head off. But Brahmas’ head was still amazingly powerful and it couldn’t be placed anywhere or bad things would happen there, so Śakra ordained for 7 fairies to take turns to hold Brahmas’ head. Each turn lasted one year on the earth. Later, Śakra brought an elephant head and splashed water on it, causing Brahma to come back to life.

Ever since, before a new year, people splash water on each other to wash away the sins and the bad fortune of the previous year, and to wish each other good luck.

At the end of the event, the mc announced that it’s time for some fun and he started splashing water on people at the event after that everyone started to follow him and they started splashing water and wishing each other a Pre Happy New Year.

Contribution by: Suriyain Phongitthidej (Angad Sachdev)

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