Thadingyut is a lovely Myanmar lunar month full of enjoyable things. Everybody is happy with many fun activities during the Thadingyut holidays.
When I heard some Thadingyut related songs, it made me remind my childhood memories about Thadingyut. Some traditions are fading away lately, but some still stays every Thadingyut till now.
Once it is Thadingyut, every kid plays the paper lantern carts around the neighborhood. The lantern carts are small adorable lanterns in different animal shapes like rabbit, elephant and cats. It is made with wheels and bamboo stick as a handle. Inside it is a small candle lighting to make the lanterns bright.
Flame of Hell
Photo Credit: Ma Lapyae Aung
Ever have fun of watching big flames burning up by adding a little water? This is the flame of hell. Dig a small hole, place some wax and oil, and put some water in the end, this is how you can make the flame. I had seen some kids playing the hell flame during my childhood Thadingyut periods back then. There are still some villages and towns playing with the flame.
When I was young, I loved to light up the small yard with candlesticks. I saw my grandmother also lighting the small candles on each item at home. And I also did the same as I lighted the candles on every item at my home. After I become older, I learn about why we light up. People light up the oil lamps to worship the Lord Buddha. Lighting up on the items means worship the gods to wish for good fortunes. The ritual can be seen in small towns and villages. Some regions pay homage to Lord Buddha with 9,000 lights at pagodas.
Fire Crackers and Fire Balloons
Photo Credit: Ma Lapyae Aung
I always want to play with fire crackers and like to gaze the small hot-air balloons. Some kids like to tease each other with fire crackers and make friends. But, do not try to frighten the elders and those who have heart disease!
Paying Homage and Pocket Money Gifts
During this season, younger people pay homage to elders and ask for forgiveness if they have committed any sin. They also offer them some fruits and other gifts. The elders give them back forgiveness and bless them with good luck in return. Sometimes, they give them some snacks and pocket money.
Cooking Rice with Claypots
The village I used to live in has a tradition of cooking rice with small claypots played by kids. Each brings an ingredient in cooking the meal and mixes them altogether in the claypot and play with it. Sometimes, these meals are delicious and fun to play with.
Musical Plays and Food Stalls
There are night market food stalls everywhere during the Thadingyut season. You can have fun with your friends, walk around, ride the small Ferris wheel, eat some snacks and look around. Some night market has traditional operas to entertain. Some villages show famous films in black and white and the audiences bring their own mats. This is a unique culture of Thadingyut where people share their feelings about the arts of a film.
I started to feel warm from remembering some Thadingyut memories while I am writing this post. Do you have any traditions and memories to share about Thadingyut? Let’s relive some moments together and spread the reminiscence.
Happy Thadingyut to you all!