The New Year celebration in Myanmar, also called Water Festival, is an important national holiday. It usually takes place in the month of April and lasts four days aiming to prepare people for the Buddhist New Year (Thingyan). Everyone who takes a walk one of these days, can be sure to come back home completely soaked. Ba! Water is poured everywhere – it’s like a regular water fight, on the street of cities as well as little villages, but also in unexpected places: like in a restaurant or inside a shop. People use all possible means to pour water: bowls, buckets, barrels, plastic water guns, garden hoses, of even real firefighter hoses. We could say, it looks like our Polish traditional Śmigus Dyngus but like one hundred times more intense. Apart form water fights there is also a lot of music. Music stands appear along bigger streets and crowds of people start to dance whereas other ones keep pouring water over them 🙂 Also roads between cities are occupied by groups of “water soldiers” who pour water over each vehicle trying to pass through. There are no exception. As we found out theses four crazy days are actually the only days in the year when people of Myanmar are officially allowed to celebrate and party. Apart from water there is also a lot of alcohol these days. So you can probably imagine how crazy it gets. And it definitely is a great things, however travelling i such conditions is not the easiest experience and might even be a bit risky, especially for all the electronic devices we are carrying in our bags. That’s why we decided to take a short break here and to celebrate with the locals. And so happy and completely soaked we kept shouting “Happy New Year”… in April.
- A night in a Buddhist monastery!
- Where there’s a will there’s a way ;)