NADAW (Animists paying homage to Nats)
'Nadaw ' is the name of the ninth month on the Myanmar
calendar corresponding to December of the calendar in International use. The
actual spelling in Myanmar characters transliterates as Nattaw Nat is a
general term applied to Spirit God, Deva or Deity and Taw is honorific
signifying 'respect'. In the time of Myanmar Kings, it was a month for
oblation to deities of Nats, hence the name of the month. Actually, it is
not that the Myanmar people are animists paying homage to Nats, but Animism
that had taken roots from very early times had perisiently survived, though
in very limited spheres, when the Theravada Buddhism reached Pagan in the
11th century ( C.E.) and King Anawrahta accepted it and made it the religion
of his kingdom, suppressing all corrupt form of worship including animistic
sacrifices and unwholesome practices that existed in Pre-Buddhist Pagan.
In this month, there are also ceremonies of conferring titles and honours to
distinguished figures in Myanmar literatil.
In the Independent Union of Myanmar, the month of 'Nadaw' ( December ) is
the time for literary activities, honouring those to whom honour is due as
in the time of Myanmar Kings. Ceremonies of giving awards in various fields
of literary work are usually held on the first day of the waxing moon in '
Nadaw' (December ) . There are festivities celebrating the anniversaries of
great literary figures like Na-wa-de, Nat-shin-naung, Seinda-Kyawthu, let-wei-thondra,
Myawady Mingyi U Sa, U Ponnya, etc.
Writers and poets travel all over the country to meet their readers and hold
seminars, discussions and talks on literary subjects.
Although the great majority of Myanmars are Buddhists, Union of Myanmar is
not a Buddhist State secular one and highly motivated in their respective
religions. All Christians in Myanmar celebrate Christmas at their respective
Churches on 25th December every year Carols are sung, friends greeted and
gifts exchanged, not forgetting the aged and the poor.
Karen New Year
The Koreans, one of the Union National groups in the Union of Myanmar,
celebrate their 'new crop' ceremony bringing in their New Year. Garbed in
their national costumes, dances and songs are put on show high-lighting with
their lively 'Don' folk dance.