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Thandingyut marks the end of lent. Moonsoon is on the way out and the skies are clearing. Sunny days are here to stay. The three day lights festival will be those of music,dances and fun. Illuminations are there to celebrate the anniversary of the Buddha's return from the celestial abode where he had spent the lent teaching the gods above His Law. Amoung the gods was the one who was the mother of the Buddha, reborn there.
It was on the full moon day of Thandingyut month that the Budddha descend to the abode of humans.He and his disciples were attended by a heavenly host of celestials who created a pathwayof stars. Humans on earth illuminated the homes and streets to welcome the Buddha and His disciples.Streets, houses and public buildings are illuminated festooned with coloured electric bulbs.
One feature of the festival in small towns and village is SEE-MEE lighting; small earthen bowls are filled with seasamum oil and a piece of cotton is soaked in each bowl and lighted.
These lighted oil bowls are placed on the terraces of pagodas.The lights last longer than candles and the little tongues of flame quivering in the breeze lend an uncanny beauty to the scene steeped in silvery moonlight.Such lights are sometimes seen on the pagodas in Yangon city. The festival is often called the "Tawadaintha", being the name of the celestial abode where the Buddha spent the lenten season.
Thandingyut in not only a season of festivals and rejoicings, but also a time for remembering those to whom we owe respect and ratitude. During the Thadingyut season Myanmar Budddhists go round paying respects to parents, teachers,elderly relatives and friends.
Reference :"Flowers and festivals round the Myanmar year" by "Khin Myo Chit"
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