A Letter to our Readers
We wish you all the best for a happy 1366 Myanmar Era. The Myanmar New Year begins on April 17th after Thingyan, the period of splashing water on each other in joyous celebration. The original idea is that you are cleansed of the ill fortunes of the past, but whatever the reason, it is great fun to get cooled down in the high heat of summer. Appropriately Hpone Thant tells you about the Celestial Visitor coming for the New Year and its significance.
Summer begins in earnest, with misty mornings that shatter with the early rays of the sun. By noon the heat is intense and in this scorching temperature the flowers of Myanmar bloom forth in all their glory: the Padauk, golden clusters with the wonderful fragrance that blooms but once a year for just a few days; the Gantgaw, with its unique perfume from its thick cushion of pollen; the Kokko, the giagantic Raintree with fragile pink blossoms; the Pyinma with its purple sprays pointing to the sky and the Ngu, fluffy clouds of pale yellow.
In this happy season, we present to you an article on beautiful visitors: migrant birds that are resting on their global journey. The birds of Moeywingyi Lake are featured in a story by Hpone Thant with photos by actor Lwin Moe, who took up a camera in spite of heavy movie schedules.
In this issue, Ma Thanegi shows you a different aspect of Bagan in the glazed plaques decorating the Mingalar Zedi. Once numbering over a thousand, about half remains after the decay during ten centuries.
The Shwedagon is at all times of the day and night a place of both worship and sanctuary for Buddhist devotees. At dawn, the pagoda works a magic that transports you to another world. The beautiful photos of Sonny Nyein have caught the mood of this mystical time.
Charms and runesof the ancient days are fascinating momentos of the past. Our new writer Maung Yan Way explains the intricacy and beauty of the various symbols used in the past as charms against evil and harm.
In all weathers, travelling in Myanmar is a constant joy of discovery. Even in the heat of summer, you will find many aspects of the country that will delight you.
Once again, Happy New Year!
The Editorial Board