taguTAGU (Thin-Gyan Water Festival/ Myanmar New Year Festival)

 The first month of the Myanmar calendar is 'Tagu' (April). It is the time of the Water Festival-we calls it "Thin-gyan' which means 'change'. This is often symbolized with the change of duty from one celestial daughter to another to hold the severed head of the 'Brahma' lest it might fall into the sea or on land and cause a complete dry-up in wherever it happens to fall. But, that belief may originally belong to Hinduism. The people of Myanmar usher in their 'New Year' around the middle of April with the showers of blessing in the form of water, which is thrown over friends and even strangers on the streets. Even foreigners and all other believers can participate in the festival together like the same family of Myanmars during three of four days. Everybody can see the enjoyable sights and sounds as others do so, or perform religious meritorious acts or just enjoy rest and recreation in festive atmosphere all around. There is also pageantry with decorated pandals (Mandats), floats, music, songs and dances, celebration of 'Thin-gyan' in a cultured way is being promoted by the State and People of the Union of Myanmar.

Pouring water in ' New Year' is believed to cleanse the body and mind of evils of year that was left behind. There is merriment and fun galore. But it is not all fun and play; the elderly and the pious perform a lot of meritorious deeds to usher in the 'New Year' . People keep Sabbath; go to pagodas and monasteries; and offer foods and alms to monks and nuns. Even children and youths too welcome the 'New Year' by paying respects to their parents, teachers and elders. To gain merit, fish and cattle are also set free. Though merriment and fun and meritorious and pious deeds, the Myanmar usher in a 'New Year'.

According to belief, it also marks the time when the King of Nats, 'Tha-gya-min', descends to Human World for a visit to check on the conduct of human morals. He carries with him two books-one covered with 'dog-skin' and the other bound with 'gold' .He records the names of those who have committed sin into the 'dog-skin' book, while he enters the names of do-gooders in the golden book.

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TAGU    KASON      NAYON     WASO

WAGAUNG     TAWTHALIN     THANDINGYAT     TAZAUNGMONE

NADAW     PYATHO     TABODWE     TABAUNG

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