To Burmese people, Thingyan Water Festival is a start of a new year with wealth, wellness, and luck. In the land of festivals, Thingyan is considered as the merriest one and is of historical importance. You can take cruise tours from 13th to 16th every year in Myanmar. To give you an overview of Thingyan: This is a party at the size of the whole country with seemingly endless water splashes and merry-making.
Four days of seemingly endless water splashes and merry-making
As soon as the extreme heat sets in, Thingyan Water Festival kicks off. It is celebrated from 13th to 16th April, until the Burmese new year day. This is a rare time of the year in which people are allowed to get together in huge crowds in Myanmar. That is why everyone tries to get the most of Thingyan and has fun nationwide. They use anything to throw water onto anyone they see and of course, get ready to be soaked to the bone by others. There is no distinction between the young and elderly, strangers and acquaintances or the locals and foreigner. No one is spared from water splashes. Consequently, people are brought to each other closer thanks to Thingyan.
Four days of the water festival mean that you can hardly stay dry. Even at break time, you might still be thrown water from all directions while walking across a street corner. They say, when you are in Burma, do as Burmese do because status, skin color and grace have been integrated with harmony to celebrate our mutual culture. Therefore, Thingyan is one of the best things to do in Myanmar so that tourists can have a good time in here. Water fights seem to give power to generally soft-spoken and introverted people to get wild and fun-loving extroverts in a surprising way. And alcohol is indispensable for such excitement.
Yangon – Best choice to experience Thingyan
While every part of Myanmar celebrates Thingyan, Yangon is the best suggestion for you to have ideal Myanmar cruise tours. In this city, you can be advised to the most joyous and grand celebrations held at the Kandawgyi and Inya Lakes. Imagine that lakes are now decorated with dozens of temporary water sprinkling stations which can double up as platforms for hundreds of people to soak in the water and dance. Water is pumped from the lake to fuel what could best be described as the biggest shower in the world. Apart from that loud music blares makes the atmosphere hotter. You can also join traditional Burmese dances and musical performances on the stage.
Religious significance of Thingyan water festival
Thingyan water festival bears in itself great religious and spiritual meaning for the Burmese. They believe that throwing water onto other will help rinse all bad luck, sins and evil deeds of the past year. And the next coming year will be full of wealth, wellness, and luck. The festival also associates with a mythological legend in which Thagyarminn, the king of celestial beings, descends to the earth on the very first day of Thingyan. He presents Burmese lessons of behavior towards the Mother Earth. If they behave well, their good deeds are recorded on a gold parchment while the bad ones on a parchment made of dog skin. The descent of Thagyarminn onto earth thus marks the beginning of ‘change’ in Burmese mythology. You can learn more about this from your Myanmar travel guide.
Thingyan Water Festival is also a time for Burmese to do favors. Youngsters offer the elderly gifts, washing their hair and cutting their nails. People also prepare food to give others for free. In Myanmar, Visiting temples to cleaning Buddha statue and offer food to monks are also things you should join locals during your cruise tours. Water fights and fun celebrations take place mainly during the daylight hours. After sunset, people return home to get a good night’s sleep.
Delicious food and fantastic performances
Tourists may get tired of water soaking after the first days of Thingyan, but the festival offers you many other things to join and have fun. Traditional performances on stages are among outstanding examples. Moreover, fun fairs and elaborately decorated pavilions called “mandats” are full of two sides of streets for you to explore. Trying Burmese specialties is also what to do in Myanmar.
Good preparation for travel is in need
During Myanmar cruises with Thingyan, all the tourist sites, most of the shops, restaurants, and supermarkets are closed. There is hardly any business, just merry-making. And you had better remember that there is no bus from the 11th to 18th April while train service could also be highly uncertain. In other words, it is difficult to travel a few days before, during and after this festival. As a result, it is advisable for you to reach your destination in Myanmar a day or two before Thingyan water festival begins. And even if you do manage to find local transport, you’ll be charged double the fares or more. That is a clear example of how important the festival is for the Burmese people.
The charm of Thingyan lies in people coming together for cheerfulness. You can see beautiful Burmese women with yellow Padauk blossoms in their hair, while men move around dumping containers of water on anyone in sight despite himself being soaked to the bone. Your Myanmar cruise tours will be unforgettable if you truly revel in the festivities with the locals. Have some talk with the locals, splash water on each other and enjoy delicious meals with them and you can fall in love with the ancient Myanmar culture quicker than you ever think.