Thingyan which means “transit” is the Myanmar New Year Festival that usually occurs in middle of April. It is a Buddhist festival celebrated over a period of four to five days, culminating in the New Year. The dates of the Thingyan Festival are calculated according to Myanmar Calendar. The dates of the festival are observed as public holidays throughout Myanmar, and are part of the summer holidays at the end of the school year. This festival is also celebrated in neighboring Theravada Buddhist countries; Songkran in Thailand and Laos, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia.
People celebrate Thingyan Festival by standing on bamboo stages erected along the streets and splashing water on passersby. Powerful water pipes douse people driving by in cars. Children use water pistols to drench their friends, relatives, and anyone else in range – only monks and the elderly are safe. Most girls wear fragrant thanaka and sweet-scented yellow padauk blossoms in their hairs. Thingyan flower, the padauk only blooms one day each year during Thingyan.
People in Myanmar believes that water symbolizes the washing away of previous year’s bad luck and sins. On New Year’s Day itself, all the water-throwing ends. This day is celebrated by releasing captive fish and birds as acts of merit, and special feasts are held for monks.
On this day, we wish everyone to be safe and advise to stay at home following social distancing guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar.