10/19/13 - 10/19/13
Thadingyut, the Burmese Festival of Lights, marks the end of the Buddhist lent or the rains retreat. It is celebrated for three days centering on the full moon day of the lunar month of thadingyut, which this year falls today October 19. It commemorates the Buddha’s return to earth after preaching in celestial abodes and devotees light candles and lanterns to greet him. It is also celebrated by pagoda visits and paying obeisance to elders, which results in “tips”, small gifts of money for the children.
bike laden with monastic gifts
In Burmese homes candles are lit at both the nat shrine and the Buddhist altar. This morning we visited several monasteries, where people had lit candles and food was served. At the first two women quickly came to us and escorted us to the low tables around which food was served and insisted on serving us noodle soup with lime and chile. We then walked to visit the nunnery and monastery at the global pagoda.
breakfast at the monastery