myanmar

Festival of Lights

Monks conversing

My second trip to Myanmar this year started on October 12th with a full moon. This full moon is one of the more significant ones in the Buddhist calendar as it also marks the end of the rainy season. For three to four days around the full moon, festivities take place all over the country in what is known as Tazaungmon, or “the Festival of Lights”. Having arrived in Yangon in the evening, I headed for a fairground not too far from the town centre. One of the main streets had been closed off to traffic with food vendors, games and rides for children taking over; the literally, manually-run ferris wheel still amazes me just watching the teens make it run and the ‘elastic bands and matchboxes’ game reminded me of school days. However the heavily made-up, tiny Burmese girls in skimpy clothing imitating Lady Gaga was not really what I would of expected and shows just how fast times are changing there. The next evening, which also marked the last day of the festivities, I headed for Shwedagon pagoda just before dusk. I spent a few hours there taking photos, waiting for night to fall and the pagoda to be lit up and at around 7pm locals started lighting the thousands of candles around the enormous golden stupa.
Festival of Lights album
Streets of Yangon

Family lighting candles

Bawgyo Paya Pwe, Myanmar

Manual merry-go-round

Taken at Bawgyo Paya Pwe, 8 miles from Hsipaw. This festival spans over the 4 days preceding the last full moon of the Buddhist calendar. People from all over congregate around the Pagoda. Some come to pay hommage to the four statues of Buddha that can only be viewed during this time of year whilst others just come for the festive atmosphere.