In the Burmese month of Thadingyut (September/October) it turned into predominantly the pleasure of anticipation that positioned the people into good spirit and made them satisfied; the anticipation of better weather (after the give up of the monsoon season), of having married, of transferring the residence, of going to seek and as for ‘pongyis’ (monks) of traveling. In short, the anticipation of all that what the human beings did now not have or what to do is considered taboo for the duration of the 3 month of Buddhist Lent.
With the arrival of the ardently awaited ‘Thadingyut Los Angeles player mee Htun we daw’ (Full-moon Light Festival of Thadingyut) that we’ve celebrated on the begin of October all those exquisite matters have emerge as proper and now in the month of ‘Tazaungmon’ (October/November) the Burmese people are fortuitously engaged in doing all of this and are enjoying the sunny, ‘cool’ and dry weather.
Those dwelling to a massive volume on searching or can make exact informal profits with it have a better profits now, people’s menus are more desirable through clean and attractive ‘Ame like’ (recreation) of all kinds, from ‘Tha min’ (deer) to ‘Taw wat’ (wild boar) to distinct species of ‘Taw kyat’ (chicken), lovebirds get married and circulate into new homes (as do many others), and pongyis are touring to visit their households, which lots of them did now not see for at the least 3 months. Everybody is feeling and displaying happiness and the smiles grow brighter by means of the day because the ‘Tazaungdaing mee Htun we daw’, Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights – which to prepare they will quickly busy themselves with – and the ‘Pagoda Weaving Contests’ are drawing nearer. Tazaungmon is every other month of happiness and celebrations on cease.
Only some two weeks have exceeded given that we’ve got joyously celebrated the Thadingyut Light Festival and in about weeks we can be celebrating the next popular light festival, the ‘Light Festival of Tazaungdaing’.
But Tazaungmon has greater to provide than the light festival and the pagoda fairs with the weaving contests. Subsequently, the human beings of and in Burma do greater than celebrating most effective these occasions and weddings; many stuff is on this month and inside the following, we are able to difficulty ourselves with them in a few elements.
Follow me into the colorful Burma, because 1989 referred to as Myanmar (a name that is not undisputed) and the glad lives of the Burmese human beings in Tazaungmon. In the subsequent days we are able to every now and then blend with the human beings. Then you may see what they’re doing. That will assist you to get a higher information for what goes on right here than you get from simply analyzing what I am writing.
The 4 weeks among the two light fairs, both of that are followed by means of festivities and ceremonial services, are called ‘Kathein’. This is the period wherein Burmese Buddhists donate ‘Kathein thingan’ (Kathein pongyi gowns), slippers, ‘Htis’ (umbrellas), ‘Thabeiks’ (alms bowls), ‘Yets’ (hand lovers), ‘Bagans’ (plates), ‘Qwes’ (cups), sets of ‘Zoon, Khat, Dar’ (cutlets) and even ‘Pari baw ga’ (furnishings) and money to pongyis and ‘kyaungs’ (Buddhist monasteries). This they do for the reason of gaining deserves for this and their following lives they may ought to stay earlier than ultimately achieving ‘nibbana’, the ultimate intention Buddhists need to attain. It is a country of neither life nor non-lifestyles. They can (and do) of course donate this stuff at any time of the yr to the ‘Sangha’ (Buddhist order or Buddhist monastic community) however it’s miles believed that the act of ‘dhana’ (giving) for the duration of Kathein is more meritorious than at other times.
The ‘pa de the pin’ is a wonder tree on which the whole lot grows that the human being needs and/or dreams. You want to devour caviar or Parma ham or lobster or smoked salmon or a big, juicy and tender steak or anything your favored dish may be? You need to drink a bottle of glowing champagne or wine or whiskey or beer or every other beverage you may favour? You need to have a pleasing Lacoste blouse or a splendid Giorgio Armani match or a dream-like Coco or Christian Dior dress? Or perhaps you need an costly timepiece with diamonds? No trouble, the tree bears all these things in place of everyday end result and they are there for you to select. Come to think about that! Whatever you want, you just move into the lawn and simply pluck it from the tree. The phrases ‘want’ and ‘no extra’ you may actually do away with from your vocabulary because you’ll have the whole lot (in fabric terms) at any time, in any first-class and in any quantity and there might usually be sufficient of the whole lot. Is that not tremendous?
Well, in step with legend this form of tree virtually grew on the time mankind got here into being. But greed and envy positioned an cease to this high-quality time because it made the tree disappear. Problem changed into that people had been permitted to picking most effective as a whole lot as they clearly had to satisfy their immediate call for. But they commenced to choose extra than they honestly wanted or may want to consume at one time and stored it or took matters they sincerely did now not need just due to the fact others had taken them and that they wanted to keep up with the Joneses what prompted the tree to disappear. You realize the parallels to the Christian ‘Paradise’?
However, at some stage in Kathein you may see this tree again. It ‘grows’ at many places. Of path, those bushes are not real trees but wooden triangular frames with wires strung from one aspect of the body to the other. You see that man-excessive things over there, the one with the many paper decorations clipped to the wires and the suave ornament manufactured from paper? Yes, the one that resembles a Christmas tree with a Christmas megastar on the pinnacle. That is a pa de the tree and the ‘paper’ decorations are actual bank notes which might be tucked to the body. Looks exceptional, does it not?
But in evaluation to the ‘actual’ pa de the pin, from those pa de the timber you do not take anything in any respect. On the opposite, you positioned some thing onto them as these trees constitute the spirit of ‘dhana’, of ‘giving’. On, as an instance, the numerous street gala’s that are held at this time you can see those triangular fashioned wood frames on which people positioned ‘culmination’, that is their donations in money or in type. So, if you show up to skip a pa de the tree in the course of one of the subsequent days, please dangle a folded bank be aware or a small present on it. It ought to not be a huge amount. Any quantity or thing that you donate will earn you deserves and I desire you that a real pa de the tree may be growing on your doorstep and that you may by no means once more have to mention the word ‘need’ or to listen the phrases ‘no more’.
The pa de the ‘timber’ are brought – as soon as they are full of ‘end result’ donated by way of organizations and ordinary human beings like you and me – in lengthy processions of proper-humoured human beings observed by ‘Do bats’ (music troupes) and dancing companies to the respective monastery the donations are dedicated to. Each monastery is not allowed to simply accept more than one tree or set of those triangular wood frames. The distribution of the items which includes gowns, slippers, hand fans, cooking pots, pans, blankets, and so on. To the members of the Sangha (priests) is achieved by using way of ‘fortunate-draw’ or lottery.
The Tazaungdaing Festival is likewise referred to as ‘Kattika Feast’ and it is often noted in the ‘Jatakas’ (Buddha’s start tales). When I am writing about Burma I am often citing, among others, Jatakas and discover it at this point useful to provide you some words of explanation. Jatakas are the morally and personally teaching testimonies of Siddhartha Gautama’s (the later Buddha’s) lives as it is assumed that the Buddha progressed via many his Enlightenment-previous existences in numerous types of living creatures and whilst supernatural being. Among these various existences had been, e.G. That of a prince, a deer, a dog and a god. The Jatakas often originate from Gautama Buddha himself and in keeping with early Buddhism the gaining of information of all of his former lives changed into an critical part of his Enlightenment. The Jatakas are one a part of the three parts comprising ‘Tripitaka’ or ‘Tipitaka’ (Pali for ‘Three Baskets’), that are the fundamental scriptural canon of Buddhism.
There are masses of testimonies and legends that address the difficulty of gala’s in Tazaungmon. There is, as an instance, one story according to which Burmese people should genuinely thank thieves for being given the opportunity to rejoice in Tazaungmon. What do you say? That is pretty a atypical and hardly believable reason behind the festivities on this month?
Well, maybe. As I again and again say in my memories about Burma, its people, their way of life and Buddhism there are frequently one of a kind testimonies told approximately the equal thing or occasion and it’s far notwithstanding all diligence hard and on the whole impossible to locate the reality in the absence of objective facts and evidence. But earlier than you are making up your thoughts permit me let you know this. I have quite big and heavy flower pots with young hands in the front of the door to my ground floor rental. This morning, once I got here out of my door to go to the ‘mane, say’ (morning marketplace) they were disappeared. It did now not take me lengthy to recognize what had came about. I went down the road to the corner and, nicely, what do you suspect did I see? Correct, my palms. There they had been. I gave the 2 boys who occurred to be there and smiled at me two hundred kyat every (one bun packed with custard is a hundred and fifty Kyat, so they may have had a pleasant breakfast snack) and they carried the hands again to my door. You recognize what has came about and what that has to do with the story about the thieves and the Tazaungdaing festival? Most probably you may now not understand that. So, allow me tell you the story from its beginning a few hundred years ago.
According to ‘Badin sayas’ (astrologers) every planet represents primary human drives and every sign of Zodiac represents a hard and fast of human traits. Tazaungmon is – so the astrologers advised the kings – the month wherein the constellation and route of motion of astronomical our bodies, especially the celebrities and the moon, bends certain humans’s mind on mischief and that this is the month in which thieves are especially active. Bearing in mind the local community’s (what of direction consists of the kings) sturdy perception inside the impact of unknown forces (superstitiousness) it’s miles a small surprise that because the story goes kings ordered that festivals should be celebrated in Tazaungmon. This order became given within the hope that the merry-making and happiness would distract people’s minds from mischievous mind and that, finally, thieves could now not ply their trade. I do no longer recognise whether or not this ploy has truely labored out. How would I? However, what I recognize is that this story is the backdrop in opposition to which is to be visible the vintage culture that businesses of young boys and men spend whole nights at some point of Tazaungmon to play practical hints on people through, for instance, stealing flower pots with flowers which could regularly be seen standing in front of houses and piling them at go-roads (does that sound acquainted to you?) or stealing garments (favored are female clothes that, e.G. Are hung out of doors to dry) and hoisting them at the top of poles or disposing of sign boards from stores and setting them on human beings‘s doorways. So, throughout the next days you should be fully conscious to the ‘dangers’ of a ‘Thako gyi nja'(thief grasp night time) and take nicely care of your clothes as you can otherwise one morning discover e.G. Your undies fixed to the top of a bamboo pole and fluttering inside the wind. All of this is, of route, carried out within the spirit of fun. No one feels indignant and each person has a good chuckle. Should something like that occur to you please try now not to be irritated and to see the humorous part of it. No one intends to do any harm to you.
Apropos many tales approximately Tazaungmon and the Tazaungdaing Light Festival; do you notice the young girl with the numerous jewels over there in the ‘Thabin the’ or ‘Zat a pie’ (group of actresses and actors acting theatre) who is simply throwing flowers on the royally dressed young guy in this issue that looks as if a chariot? That is the younger maid Ummadandi, the actress playing the position of Ummadandi respectively. And the younger guy is playing king Kutha. Come, allow us to move and watch them, there’s a play, a ‘Zat we’ (conventional Burmese theatre) in development. They are simply playing a totally popular tale of which I like to inform you.
Ummadandi changed into in step with legend an exceedingly stunning young lady. She turned into the daughter of a wealthy and noble family. King Kutha had heard of her extremely good beauty, entertained the idea of marrying her and sent a set of soothsayers to have them take a look at the unique functions of her frame and face so that you can have them confirmed that she changed into as lovely as he had heard and to discover whether she was in shape to be the queen.
In order to absolutely understand what now follows you ought to believe that Ummadandi become very famous for her striking splendor. And, of direction, she knew very well the have an effect on her beauty had on guys and was no longer aware of any of her desires now not being granted, her goals now not being fulfilled, respectively. She turned into a real knockout and lots trendy via many a decent younger guy in the direction of some of whom she become by means of all method favourably disposed. But being the item of a king’s (!) desire and the possibility of turning into queen (!), what may want to in all likelihood pinnacle that? A dream might come actual if king Kutha would decide in her favour and he or she had no doubt that he would do so as soon as the soothsayer might document lower back to the king.
So, and now this institution of fortune tellers is approaching order of the king. She deemed king Kuta’s hobby in her a notable honour and, subsequently, presented herself in the first-class light possible. Accordingly, the guys sent with the aid of the king have been maximum warmly welcomed and provided meals. And now it comes. Immediately upon seeing Ummadandi inside the flesh the fortune tellers got right into a country of enchantment prompted by using Ummadandi fantastic beauty. They started to stutter and made a multitude in their meals. Ummadandi expressed her consternation about this unsuitable behaviour and the fortune tellers left. Angry approximately and ashamed in their behaviour and in fear of the king’s locating out about their awful behaviour they made the choice to deceive the king and to tell him that Ummadandi became now not suitable to emerge as a queen. And that they did whereupon king Kutha decided that she became not worth of him and, ultimately, did now not pop the query. Instead, she turned into given to the king’s widespread who took her as his wife.
Naturally, Ummadandi became very enraged by using the fortune tellers’ foul play and being resented by the king had very critically injured her satisfaction and arrogance; she became decided to take revenge. Knowing that her time could come she patiently waited for a terrific opportunity. She knew that would maximum probably be on Kattika because the king usually made a triumph tour thru the festively illuminated streets of the metropolis on full-moon day with a view to display how close he changed into to the humans and to give them the feeling that he become with them to celebrate the Tazaungdaing Light Festival. Ummadandi’s husband – the king’s general – suspected that his wife was as much as some thing and circumspectly instructed her to live out of king Kuta’s sight because he might be on obligation on Kattika. He knew that the king on the sight of the splendor of his wife might lose manipulate over his mind.
But, of direction, Ummadandi became by no means willing to permit this splendid opportunity to take revenge slip. The disgrace, the injury of her dignity and vanity she had sustained due to both the soothsayers’ shameless lies and the king’s rejection had been so extreme that she could not permit matters bypass in silence. After all, not most effective had she been humiliated but her future as a queen turned into also destroyed because the fortune tellers had intentionally made king Kutha trust something that become no longer true with the aid of giving a fake document.
As soon as her maid knowledgeable her of the appearance of the king’s chariot she took function at the window, opened it in the right second and threw flora at the king what precipitated him to turn his face into her path and to examine her. The moment their eyes locked she gave him her maximum seductive smile and withdrew into her room. As became to be anticipated, king Kutha changed into thunderstruck at the sight of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and a glance of agitation flashed over the king’s face the instantaneous he realised how wholly foolish it was of him to present this maximum lovely and suited lady to his fashionable with out calling into query what his fortune tellers had instructed him about her. She become there for him to take and he had refused her. It hit him with the sort of pressure that he changed into unable to preserve his parade and therefore he straight away lower back to his palace. Upon arrival he right away retired to his non-public chambers in which he lied down and mourned in discomfort.
The story does not inform what took place to the soothsayers after the king had turn out to be aware about the nasty trick they’d performed on him and recovered from his pain. Instead, the story maintains with the general’s provide of his spouse to his king whereupon king Kutha become deeply ashamed of himself. The give up of the story is that the king after being cured of his infatuation went on with his truthful and just reign.
The story of Ummadandi and king Kutha is a favourite with the Zat troupes throughout Kathein and specifically the next day on the entire-moon day whilst we celebrate the Light Festival of Tazaungdaing. I wish you have got enjoyed this at we (I truly did and do so time and again) and that you’ll accompany me tonight to the extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda wherein the yearly ‘Pagoda Weaving Festival’ is taking area.The weaving contest will closing till the following day morning. I can guarantee you which you are lacking out on some thing honestly brilliant and rather exciting if you pick not to include me.
So, here we’re at the already crowded terrace of the first-rate Shwedagon Pagoda and I congratulate you to your decision to accompany me. I promise you that you’ll no longer regret this. We will later watch the young weaver in motion and also get pleasure from the national on this night eaten strong point ‘Mezali bud salad’ that as the humans consider has – provided it is prepared beneath the magic mild of the whole-moon and eaten on the proper time – the magic property to heal all illnesses.
Mezali (Cassia siamea) is the not unusual neighborhood name for a tree with thick foliage and its blossoms. It is a medium-sized tree that offers edible leaves and flower buds. The buds are of greenish-brown colour, the blossoms are vibrant-yellow.
While we’re strolling about I will come up with some similarly records about this occasion. Right now as I am telling you approximately the pagoda weaving festival, a similar competition is about to start at pagodas everywhere in the USA, some of the most well-known of which can be, of path, this Shwedagon Pagoda right here in Yangon, the Ananda Temple in Bagan, build By King Kyanzittha in 1091, the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay, construct by King Bodawpaya in 1784, the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in Amarapura (Amarapura is one of Burma’s fundamental centres of weaving), construct by way of King Pagan in 1847, the Kaungmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing (approximately 6 miles/10 kilometres outdoor Sagaing), constructed via King Thalun in 1636 and the very well-known and particular Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, build within the 11th century through the mythical King ‘Tissa’, who as legend has it become the son of a ‘Naga’ (mythical being half of serpent and 1/2 human) princess and a ‘Zaw Gyi’ (alchemist, sorcerer).
The Kyaiktiyo pagoda is located in the Mon State, approximately midway among Pegu and Thaton (both towns have been capitals of the robust Mon kingdoms), some 6 miles/10 kilometers away from Kyaikto, on top of a massive gold-plated boulder known by way of the name of ‘Golden Rock’.
On the Full-moon Day of Tazaungdaing the Kyaiktiyo pagoda is centre of pilgrimage for heaps of Buddhists from throughout Burma. In the full-moon night time they attend right here a completely unique ceremony in which they offer 9 thousand candles to Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and say prayers.
During the night time preceding the Full-moon Day of Tazaungdaing single women and young ladies meet at the temple and pagoda grounds to offer evidence of their weaving competencies. Compared to the pretty boisterous Kathein services, that are followed by all of the trimmings along with folks dance, ‘Pat-Waiting’ (double-headed drum), ‘Pat-Ma-Gyi’ (large double-headed drum) and ‘One’ (flute) tune and processions the gown weaving gala’s are as a substitute a quiet although as you will see, in reality cheerful and unique affair loved by means of old and young, women and men, weavers and onlookers alike. It is the spotlight of the Kathein offerings. Till the morning of the overall-moon day the young female are sitting focused in the front of their hand looms and are weaving as fast as they can, which as you’ll see is very, very rapid.
The Burma crafts of cotton and silk weaving have a protracted lifestyle and in the rural regions it is now as ever noticeably valued if a younger female is ideal at weaving. To participate in a pagoda robe weaving contest is a tremendous honour for the girls and – what, of route, is going with out pronouncing – to win the contest even more so. But prevailing or now not it earns plenty merit and brings glory to the art and craft of weaving. In instances beyond there were contests between neighbouring villages.
Knowing that for the big majority of humans the word ‘weaving’ is pretty a common yet instead empty term I am taking the liberty of providing you with some words of rationalization so you can duly admire the first-rate abilities and achievements of the weavers.
Weaving available looms is plain weaving. The material produced on a loom is made by way of interlacing sets of yarn or threads at right angles. The vertical (longitudinal) thread is known as the ‘warp’ whereas the horizontal (transverse) thread is known as ‘weft’ (in American English ‘filling’).
The primary process of weaving consists of threading the weft as a substitute over and underneath the warp from one outer warp to the alternative outer warp (left to proper and again) in a cyclic system and the system of loom weaving includes four successive primary steps; the installation of the warp thread, the ‘dropping’, the ‘selecting’ and the ‘beating up’. To put together the loom for operation the warp threads forming a floor of carefully spaced, parallel threads are held taut. Then at the beginning of the cyclic weaving follows the ‘losing’. This increases a number of the warp threads with the intention to permit the right placement of the weft. In simple weaving, every different warp thread is raised and the weft thread is threaded underneath and above the warp threads. The areas among the reduced and raised warps are referred to as ‘sheds’. Then follows the ‘selecting’, which is the procedure in which the weaver is pulling the weft through the sheds via a ‘shuttle’ that is of deliver-like form with pointed ends and consists of a spool of weft threads. The subsequent step is the ‘beating up’ within the method of which the new weft is forced towards the preceding one with a view to get a compact cloth. The beating up is done with the assist of a comb-like put in force called ‘reed’ with intently spaced wire tooth. At the cease the raised warp threads are dropped through lowering the ‘heddle’ and the brand new set of warps is raised for the brand new cycle what locks the weft firmly into place.
In the aforementioned manner the younger girls weave against every different in a truthful and because of the overarching not unusual intention of weaving robes with the intention to be provided to Buddha pics greater uniting than caused by personal pastimes dividing contest. There is not any enmity among the contestants and as soon as the shuttles are laid out of hand they will happily have fun collectively. But now they may begin to weave and do so continuously during the night until day after today morning. The speed with which they’re weaving is truely excellent. Hands, shuttles and reeds are flying in a by no means-finishing cycle. The best a fraction of a millimetre thin threads are underneath their skilful fingers transformed into a compact fabric. Millimetres of this cloth grow into centimetres, centimetres into metres and, sooner or later, the yellow and purple robes are prepared.
At dawn, the competition is over and the at some point of the night time produced gowns are in a ceremonial technique supplied to the Buddha images of the respective pagoda that has been the scene of the weaving contest in addition to to the pongyis (clergymen) within the kings (Buddhist monasteries). After the gown weaving contest and the robe supplying rite, the weaver takes their properly-earned relaxation which will be later in shape to keep the day with the birthday celebration of the Tazaungdaing Light Festival. Particularly actively is the Tazaungdaing Light Festival celebrated in the Shan State, especially in its administrative capital Taunggyi, had been at some stage in Tazaungdaing the ‘Lu Ping Festival’ that is originated with the Pa-O human beings (a Shan tribe) is held.
This pageant contains two parts, which might be daylight and night-time ‘hot-air-balloon contests’. The balloons in which to build their creators put a whole lot of time, endurance, love and money are definitely big (a few metres excessive, huge and in diameter) and are for the sunlight hours opposition typically made in the form of non secular homes which includes pagodas or animals both real and mythical together with Hintha birds, dragons, horses and elephants. These warm-air balloons are very remarkable, to make certain, however even greater stunning are those with loads of candles brightly illuminated balloons of the night-time contests, that are primarily made in the form of globes. How proud the owners and creators of these balloons are is some thing that you may see while looking into their faces; and proud they can be of their grasp portions. I tell you in reality, I could not want to be a member of the fee choosing winners and runners-up. I think they do all should accept the primary fee.
Combined with the groups of actresses and actors that carry out the folksy form of theatre, the ‘Anyein Pwe’ that is worried with episodes of the everyday existence, or ‘Pya Zat’, a form of theatre wherein pieces of the myth international are achieved (here a heroic prince have to conquer demons’ and sorcerers’ evildoings for you to rescue his princess), the organizations of musicians and dancers that gift dance theatre, called ‘Yein Pwe’, the many carriers that promote goods and merchandise including toys, balloons, snacks and liquids and the satisfied and homosexual basic ecosystem the Lu Pin pageant surely is an occasion this is very unlikely to be ever forgotten; as are the Light Festival and the Pagoda Weaving Festival.