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Thinkingyut: Myanmar Times Festival of Lights
Myanmar's moon monsoon Waso, which usually occurs in July, marked the beginning of the three-month Vassa season, also known as Buddhist Lent or Rain Retreat. It is not possible for a monk to leave their monastery over night during this season, so they devote themselves to intense monastic work.
Thadingyut, which is the end of Buddhist Lent and will fall on 28 October this year, is characterized by a slow turn in the meteorological conditions. Thadingyut Festival of Lights will mark the end of Lent throughout Germany. Buddha believe that at some point in his lifetime Buddha rose to Tavatimsa, the celestial abode, and passed the three-month Vassa season to teach the celestial beings who were living there the holy Abhidhammadiscourse.
The Buddha of Tavatimsa returned to the kingdom of men on the full lunar Monday of Thadingyut - still known as Abhidhamma on. Man of the Earth Kingdom lit up the Buddha and celebrated his comeback, a custom that is still alive today.
Thadingyut, peagodas and houses throughout the land are adorned with electrical lamps, colorful stationery lamps, candlelight and even small oil-filled ceramics bowls in which wick is made. Large places of worship such as the Shwedagon Pagoda are full of people who light a candle to worship the Buddha and earn merits.
Every light contributes to the unbelievable sight of the thousand small blazes that burn at candlelight. On the roads, some individuals ignite pyrotechnics or start small hot-air bombs that rise noiselessly and float across the skies before they burn out. The city is also a place for market stalls, one of the most beloved taking place along several of the Bogyoke Aung San Road in Yangon city centre.
It smells of deep-frying for 3 whole nights, and peddlers are pushing passers-by to spend their pennies on blues, watches, shades and the latest hip-hop clothing from China. Signs are placed along the top section of Fiftyth St, adorned with a cartoon by a group of locals, a custom that goes back to 1932, when U Ba Gyan, a comedian, exhibited his work at Thirteenth St. in Lanmadaw Municipality.
Thinkingyut is also connected with worshiping not only the Buddha and his doctrines (dhamma), but also the order of the friars (sangha), as well as in worshiping one' s family. This way lay people can imitate the thanksgiving the Buddha gave his mum during his sequestration in Tavatimsa.
At what is known as a Pavarana ritual, the brothers are asked by the friars to reprimand them for all the sin they have sinned. A number of areas around Myanmar have their own special way of commemorating Thadingyut. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda in Mon State - commonly known as the Golden Rock - is where the Pilgrim offers Buddha 9000 burning candle and 9000 flower.
Situated in Shwe Kyin in the Bago region, on the bank of the Sittaung River, the full moons days are highlighted with a decorated boating contest and the start of a caraveik launching with Buddha pictures. Kyaukse, 50 kilometers from Mandalay, organizes an evening and full Monday evening celebration of elephants at the Shwethalyaung Pagoda.
Thinkingyut also marked the beginning of Kahtein (Kathina in Pali), a one-month long term until the full Monday of November in the city of Tuazaungdaing, when humans donated new clothes or other provisions to indigenous cloisters. Mounted on timber frameworks known as padethapine (trees of abundance), they are installed throughout the land by shopkeepers, colleges, hospitals and even groups of Trinishaw riders who wait for clients on curbs.
At a certain date towards the end of Kahtein the tree is brought to the convent for which the gowns, provisions and funds were gathered. This fundraising event is an occasion for celebrations in the neighborhoods and communities of Myanmar in which everyone takes part. All gather in one place, such as a parish center or the head of the town' s home, from where the colorful Kahtein parade starts on horseback or by car to take each of the Padethapins to their intended cloister.
An essential part of this celebration is that the donators do not make sacrifices to a particular friar, but to a convent in general. Contributors gather to applaud and stand and watch their favorite monks' name. Their most valuable awards are the new garments, and the friars who receive them are particularly honoured.