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CONTENTS
4
5
6
8
9

The action

The celebrities will be out and about. Find out
where to catch them

Thingyan on their minds

Not everyone will be dancing the days and nights
away. Some would prefer quiet

Tourist attraction

The big water parties are to be found in the
country’s commercial hub

Playtime in Mandalay

The water action, the floats and the people are
mostly to be found at the moat

Quiet in the capital

Strangely, it’s almost as if there’s no Thingyan to
be had in Nay Pyi Taw

A bit of history

10

There’s water, yes. In the past too. But there’s a lot
more to the annual water fest than that

11

Why Bogyoke, a tourist attraction throughout the
year, is especially proud during this period

14

It can be risky out there and the El Nino weather
bears watching too

A very special market

Have fun but…

15
16-17
18
20
22
24

Watching you

The excesses of revellers have been well documented
and the authorities have stepped up measures

Shopping around

Looking to find something to suit you or a loved
one? Check it out.

Liking it loud

It’s the young that leads the way in Thingyan style
and fashion

Going especially political

The thangyat performers are eager to praise, and
mainly poke fun at, what’s happening

The wistful thinking of one man

What’s the point of it all when instead of joy, we
feel anger

Touches of tradition

What with all the changes, some hope some
things stay the same

Beach getaways, both far and near

26

Need some quiet? Head for the sounds of surf

28

Find out what’s cool in Pyin Oo Lwin, near
Mandalay

Or head for the hills

Tue

Wed

Thu/Fri

Sat

Sun

t*F g

Ak'¨[l;

Mumoyaw;^aomMum

pae

we*FaEG

April 12 (Tuesday)
Burmese Calendar Year 1377, 5th
day of the waxing, month of Tagu

April 13 (Wednesday)
Burmese Calendar Year 1377, 6th
day of the waxing, month of Tagu

April 14/15 (Thursday and Friday)
Burmese Calendar Year 1377, 7th
and 8th day of the waxing, month
of Tagu

April 16th (Saturday)
Burmese Calendar Year 1377, 9th
day of the waxing, month of Tagu

April 17th (Sunday)
Burmese Calendar Year 1378,
10th day of the waxing, month of
Tagu

The eve of Thingyan

Second day of Thingyan

Editor
Myo Lwin, Than Naing, Hein Min Latt

Sub- editor
C. Segar, Mya Kay Khine Soe

Staff writers
Zaw Zaw Htwe, Zayar Lin, May Thinzar Naing,
Ei Ei Thu, Myint Kay Thi, Khin Wai Phyu Phyu,
Si Thu Lwin, Mya Kay Khine, Toe Wai Aung,
Aung Kyaw Nyunt, Chan Mya Htwe

Translation
Thiri Min Htun, Mya KayKhine, Myo Lwin,
Kyawt Darly Lin, Khant Lin Oo, E Moon,
Ei Ei San, Khine Thazin Han, Win Thawtar

Design
Ko Htway, Ko Khin Zaw

Photography
Kaung Htet, Aung Htay Hlaing, Zarni Phyo,
Thiri Lu, Naing Wynn Htoon, Nyan Zay Htet,
Phyo Wai Kyaw, Si Thu Lwin

For feedback and
enquiries please contact
myolwin286@gmail.com

On the first day of the festival,
people take part in a variety of
religious activities. Actually, water
throwing is not allowed on the
day but some do it anyway. People
buy Thingyan pots and put seven
kinds of flowers and leaves in them
and place them in front of their
homes to welcome Thingyan and
Thagyamin (traditional spirit).

Thingyan truly arrives as
Thagyamin (traditional spirit) makes
his descent from his celestial abode
to earth at the specific time of
04:31:15 in the evening. And serious
water throwing begins all over the
country.

Fourth day of Thingyan
Third day of Thingyan
It is the third day of the Thingyan
festival and it’s normally celebrated
in one day. In a year of an
intercalary month, Thingyan’s third
day festival is held over two days,
meaning that Thingyan lovers get
extended playtime.

Thagyamin (traditional spirit)
returns to the heavens at the
specific time of 08:35:57 at night. On
that day, the last day of the water
festival, the government orders a
stop to the water throwing at 6pm.

New Year’s Day
May you all be happy and healthy in
the Burmese New Year. It is time to
visit the elders to pay obeisance.

Translation by Win Thaw Tar

4

5

Where top celebrities will be performing

Thingyan on their minds

Almost everyone will get a piece of the action, it seems, as Myanmar’s top entertainers
spread out this Thingyan from Yangon to Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and even Myeik Island.
By Zaw Zaw Htwe
Zaw Win Htut
Rock star Zaw Win Htut (nickname
Nyi Htut) will be at Myeik Island,
Tahnitharye Region, with his family,
his Emperor Band and his friends
because of an invitation from
friends in Myeik.
He will be performing twice a day
(morning and evening) on all four
water festival days. Local vocalists
and traditional dance troupes will
perform at the same pandal.
Explaining his plans, Zaw Win
Htut said he wants to spend some
time at the beach on Myeik Island
with family and friends. “Now, I’m
not at an age to overly enjoy the
water festival (he wants to take
things a little easier) but I still
have a duty to entertain and make
people happy wherever I am.”
Last year he entertained disabled
children in a pre-water festival
show before heading to perform at
Chaungtha Beach.

Wai La
The young rock star, who has a
big following among youth, will be
at the MRTV 4 pandal sponsored
by Coca Cola at Pyay Road, Dagon
Township, Yangon, on all the water
festival days.
Ko Kyaw Min Tun, his manager,
said fans can expect Wai La, who
will feature with Runner Band, to
belt out songs from the 2015 Water
Party Yay Party album.

Ni Ni Khin Zaw
Ni Ni Khin Zaw, famous for her
songs relating to love and politics,
will be at the Alpine pandal in
Mandalay on all the water festival
days. She will entertain audiences
in Mandalay with her hit songs. Two

Ma Chaw Kay Khine
Journalism undergraduate
How Thingyan has changed over the
recent years. It is more alive these days,
adapting to the changes we see around
us. I’m happy with that, but not so
with the behaviour of some who forget
our culture and good manners. It’s all
right if we do things in moderation but
those who go to extremes are ruining
the fun and the joy of Thingyan. I’ve
heard that rules and regulations will
be enforced this year. Good, I hope the
new government will do so. As for me,
I think I’ll contribute by staying home,
because of the hot weather, and make
a list of do’s and don’ts for Thingyan
and share it with others. For now,
take care, everyone, when you are out
celebrating.

The water might be everywhere but the crowds are also to be found where the stars come out to play, as they did for this show at Pyay Road last year.
Major companies have signed on some of the best Myanmar singers and bands this Thingyan. Aung Htay Hlaing

other popular singers, Phyu Phyu
Kyaw Thein and Chan Chan, will be
there with her.

Irene Zin Mar Myint
Irene Zin Mar Myint, whose sweet
and powerful vocals have won
over Myanmar’s youth, especially
the females, will be at the Sky Net
pandal in Nay Pyi Taw.
She has said she will be
performing on all Thingyan festival
days. Prior to that she will be at
Hpa Kant, Kachin state, for a stage
show which will also feature other
well-known singers.

Ye Yint Aung
Pop star Ye Yint Aung will be in
Yangon, although at the time of
writing he was not quite sure where
he would be performing. He had yet
to sign an agreement with anyone,
he said.
“There are invitations from stage
organisers, but I haven’t decided.
I will have to sing new songs in
keeping with the (spirit of the)
water festival,” he added.

Eaint Chit
Young and popular Eaint Chit, who
is also an ambassador of Coca
Cola, will be at the brand’s pandal

at Pyay Road near People’s Park.
She said she has readied many
Thingyan songs for the audiences.
Other singers who will feature at
the same pandal are Mi Sandi and
Bunny Pyoe.

Idiots
Those who were looking forward to
watching Idiots Band performing
in Mandalay will be disappointed.
They won’t feature there because
a liquor company had to cancel a
show there. The Mandalay regional
government rejected its application
to build a stage as it has a policy
against allowing liquor brands to

feature at its water festival.

Iron Cross
Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT)
has announced Myanmar’s top band,
Iron Cross, will be in Mandalay at
MPT’s stage on all Thingyan days.
The band features Myo Gyi, Lay
Phyu, Anga and Wine Wine.

Chit Kaung, Wine Su Khine
Thein, Maykalar, Aung Htet,
Grahan And Nu Nu Sein
MPT has also hired the above
singers to perform at their pandal
in Yangon with the Lucky Hand
band.

Ko Aung Ye Kyaw
Content administrator,
Tech Myanmar Company Limited
I passed my time in Thingyan 2015 by
getting very involved in the festival. I
was at a pandal everyday and went
around as much as I could. I noticed
then that Thingyan fashion trends were
changing, though differing according
to the districts. But I think the essence
of Thingyan is still there. This year, I’ll
probably rest at home because of the
weather, the shortage of water and
the meningitis (that seems to be going
around). I want to tell the people who
go out to take care of themselves.
Have discipline when spraying others
with water. Take care of and help each
other, and be good natured, which is
part of Myanmar culture.

Ko Tun Tun
Senior reporter, Internet journal
I haven’t taken part in the Thingyan
festival for three years because (it
seems) the weather has become
hotter and hotter. If we wander out
and get a little bit wet, we feel the
heat even more. I’ve read the news
about El Nino and how it will be hotter
than normal, so I’ve decided to stay
away from the celebrations. Last year
I spent the holidays at a meditation
centre. This year I plan to have a rest
in my father’s home in Mandalay.
(Especially because of El Nino) I’d like
to tell everyone who’s out there to
protect themselves from the sun and
the heat and not to drink heavily.

U Zaw Zaw Myo Lwin
Managing Director,
Yangin Heartz Media
This year I’ve arranged to go to
Bangkok with my family, both for
a holiday and a medical checkup. If not for that, I’d stay home,
spend time with my family and do
my work. Last Thingyan, I went to
Ooredoo Thingyan pandal so that
my child could enjoy the water. If
I’m not out of the country, that’s
what I usually do.

Yu Mon Myo
Secretary
I went to Mawlamyine in 2015 and
it was different. People moved
around on motorcycles and, as a
group, wore similar clothes. I plan
to keep Sabbath at home this year
because of the El Nino weather.
I want to caution those who go
out to cover up well and to apply
sunblock to protect themselves
from ultraviolet rays and the heat.

Translation by
Khine Thazin Han and San Lay

6

7

Where the crowds will gather
Despite government handover issues, Yangon’s pandals will take centre stage again

d
Pagoda R
oa
Kabar Aye

Pyay r
oad

If you have experienced Thingyan
in Yangon before, then you would
know where to find the action.
If you haven’t, then head to
Kandawgyi circuit road, Kabaraye
Pagoda Road, Sayar San Road, Set
Mhu 1 Street , Pyay Road, and Inya
Road. There you will find many of

Thingyan’s famous pandals (stages)
and, as famously, the crowds.
The main action – when the
pandals are allowed to operate
during the water festival – will take
place from 8am to 12pam, and 3pm
to 6pm.
To those wanting to build and
operate pandals, the excitement
began sometime ago. Given the
government handover taking place

Pyay ro
ad

By Zay Yar Linn

Inya
road

Se

tM

hu

1R

oa

d

d

r San
Saya

road

oa
ar
Iny

Pyay

road

OFFICIAL SITE (above and top right): The Mayor’s Pandal on Mahabandula Road near Sule Pagoda – sizeable, in keeping
with the office. Bottom right: More celebrations in Yangon. Photos: Naing Wynn Htoon and Zarin Phyo

THE GROUNDWORK: It’s a rush to put up stages, both for entertainment and the
water action, everywhere. Yangon is no exception as workers prepare one in front
of Inya Lake at Pyay Road. Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

Nat Ma

uk Roa

d

Pyay

Kand
awgy
i

road

Kan Ye

ik Tha

Road

FOLLOW THE COLOUR: Red marks the spots where the action is to be found. The Kandawgyi circuit is one of the main
attractions. The other main areas are Pyay Road, Inya Road, Kabaraye Pagoda Road, Saya San Road and Set Mhu 1 Street.

just weeks before Thingyan, there
were some differences when it came
to getting approval.
“We can only decide on the
public areas where the pandals
can be built. It is up to the
incoming government to approve
the applications that are sent in.
The current government will only
decide on applications of those
who intend to build pandals on
their own land. For instance,
should there be applications to
build pandals on private land at
Pyay Road, we are in a position
to decide,” U Kyaw Soe, the
Minister of Forestry and Energy,
Yangon Regional government, told
Myanmar Times recently.
Under its plan, the outgoing
regional government decided on 18
big pandals (from 50 to over 100 feet
in length), nine on the circuit road of
Kandawgyi, the biggest attraction in
Yangon, and nine more on Kabaraye
Pagoda Road. This is where avid
tourists who want to immerse
themselves in the water festival
usually head.
As for mid-sized pandals, three
will be on Parami Road (near Min
Lan Mote Ti shop), one each at Set
Mhu 1 Street and Saya San Road.
As the new government takes
over on April 1, the successful
bidders won’t have much time to get
everything in place, and according
to the rules and regulations.
Application forms were
available sometime ago at the
Township and Districts General
Administration Department
(TDGAD) and successful applicants
must have a clean record – not
on the blacklist of the Yangon City
Development Committee (YCDC)
– and a recommendation from the
TDGAD. Insurance fees have been
fixed at K20 million for the big
pandals and K10million for midsized ones this year, and each, to
be built according to the rules and
regulations set by the YCDC, must
be certified as safe by an engineer
hired by the licence holder.
Translation by Khine Thazin Han

8

9

The action’s around the moat
12th Street
66th Street

Signs of construction of pandals
not visible yet, not even the
Mayor’s Pandal

26th Street

CENTRE OF THE ACTION (top and bottom): In Mandalay, where it all started centuries ago, most of the activity is limited to
the area surrounding the moat of the Mya Nan San Kyaw Shwe Nan Daw (the palace). With hot, dry weather this year, it’s
the only viable water source for Thingyan in the city.

By Si Thu Lwin
Neither the scorching heat nor
government plans to scale down
the annual water-dousing festival
hours has dampened the mood
of revellers planning to celebrate
Thingyan in Mandalay. Due to
the hot weather, authorities have
fixed the opening hours of the
water-throwing pandals from 8am
to 12pm and from 3pm to 6pm, an
hour less than last year. But there
will be more pandals to make up
for this.
According to the Mandalay
City Development Committee
(MCDC), over 40 of these
temporary structures, plus four
other entertainment stages, will
be erected. Head of planning
U Soe Lin, of MCDC’s Custom
Department, said 10 pandals
would be set up at the southern
moat of the palace, a famous
spot in Mandalay for Thingyan
celebration, with 11 in the east,
four in the north and eight in the
west, as well as seven in town.
Only 36 pandals were
constructed last year, 24 around
the palace moats, five within

80th Street

oad
My
oP
at R

Less play time
but even more
pandals in
Mandalay

All quiet on the
Nay Pyi Taw front

WHAT’S UP: This was Nay Pyi Taw last year, looking quite the part. What
happens this year is in doubt. Photo: Myanmar Times

By Swan Ye Htut

FRONT ROW SEATS: If you are at the palace and the moat that surrounds it you are up close and personal with what’s happening. The annual parade is one of the
features of the festivities in Mandalay. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

TAKING SHAPE: Preparations in full swing by the moat in Mandalay. Photo: Si Thu Lwin

town and seven along the roads
surrounding Kan Daw Gyi. U Soe
Lin said the department is still
receiving applications from the
public to put up more pandals
around Kan Daw Gyi Garden.
“Applicants who won lucky
draws to build pandals around the
palace moats were told to pay two
million kyats for each (pandal) as
a deposit,” he said. The MCDC has
introduced 26 rules governing the
construction of pandals around
the palace vicinity and those
who flout the regulations, while
building and dismantling the
structures before and after the
festival, would be penalised, he
warned.

Violators face a fine that will be
forfeited from their deposits. “The
deposit will be returned to those
who do not break any rules,” U
Soe Lin said.
Participants who fail to comply
with the municipal rules will
be blacklisted and banned from
building pandals in future. Under
the stringent municipal rules,
the sale of alcohol is also barred
within the pandals.
U Soe Lin said pipes to douse
water are restricted to not more
than 100 units this season and
pandals have to be completed by
April 9 and removed by April 24,
when the Thingyan holidays end.
Translation by Kyawt Darly Lin

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

It appears to be a slow take-off for the Thingyan water festival in the
capital this time around because the construction of major pandals, like
the Mayor’s Pandal, had not been approved even as the end of March was
approaching. Even more surprising was the distinct lack of applications.
The Nay Pyi Taw City Development Committee said it had not received
applications to build pandals from big companies that normally would
be busy setting up their stages by now. Regional police also said they
have not received any instruction to make security preparations for the
annual event. Even in the hotel zones, the absence of activity is evident.
In the past, giant stages were built there for revellers to enjoy the water
festival. Pandals there would normally have a few hundred water hoses
each.
“We don’t know about the Mayor’s Pandal,” said a police source. “I think
the security instructions and regulations will be the same as in last year.
But, so far we have no directives for Thingyan.”
Last year, there were nine pandals in the hotel zones, of which the Sky
Net pandal was the most popular. Duck egg curry and dried fish curry
and rice were popular food items served free at the pandal.

10

11

Thingyan
explained
The annual water spectacle – a
party that lasts for days – has
its roots in spiritual and cultural
beliefs. There is certainly a more
solemn, religious side to it.
Thingyan means “transition”,
a term derived from the Sanskrit
word Thinkanta or Sinkanta. It
ushers in the Myanmar New Year
and is celebrated over three days,
with an extra day added on when it
is a leap year.
Thingyan is a time when the
people make merry, unfortunately
sometimes to excess. Away from
the religious and cultural aspects
of this annual spectacle, which
is increasingly a major tourist
attraction, the activities include
partying at pandals, thangyat –
satirical chanting that tends to
poke fun at everything Myanmar –
floats, music, dancing and indulging
in the seasonal food and drinks.
Things do tend to get out of hand
at times and the main complaint
in the cities is that the free flow of

alcohol and dissolute behaviour
often lead to road accidents and
fights.
But there are still plenty of
options for those who prefer to
observe the spiritual aspect of the
New Year in quiet contemplation.
They can participate in mass
novitiation ceremonies, collective
cleaning of pagodas, statues and
monasteries, or attend meditation
camps.
The merrymaking ends on New
Year’s Day as people start doing
various good deeds to earn merits.
These include washing the hair
and cutting the nails of the elderly,
freeing captive animals like fish
and birds, and even livestock like
oxen and cows, donating to temples
and monks and reciting Buddhist
hymns and prayers.

FAST LEARNERS: They are into the watery side of Thingyan but, as they will discover, there’s much more to the annual festival.
Photo: Myanmar Times

Thingyan has its roots in
spiritual and cultural beliefs. Before
Theravada Buddhism spread in
Myanmar in the 11th century under
King Anawratha, Hindu beliefs and
cultural activities held sway, with
astrology being a core tradition.
According to the Myanmar
Translation Society encyclopedia,
Hindus believe that events
such as weather, politics and
economics can be predicted based
on the movement of the sun
and stars. Astrology also offers
a kind of free-will escapism – an
elaborate set of beliefs and rituals
developed to avoid any impending
misfortune.
Around the 10th century,
royalty in the Bagan era began
hosting ritual hair-washing, called
thingyantaw kor, to cleanse and

purify their bodies, minds and
spirits for the New Year.
For those interested in doing the
same, the Myanmar Traditional
Thingyan, published by the Ministry
of Information, has listed some
time-tested methods for a proper
royal rinse. One such practice calls
for a mix of melted snow, coconut
water and water from various
sources, such as well, pond, river
and mountain, as well as jewelsocked water and even water from
neighbouring countries.
To this potent mix, 28 or 76
(which is another formula) scented
medicinal herbal concoctions must
be added. The book says water
throwing remained exclusive to
the royals for centuries. So how
did the water splashing custom
spread to the masses? According to

one story, the servants of the royal
household got wet while gathering
water from the Ayeyarwady and
Chindwin rivers, and from an
island in the Gulf of Martaban near
Mawlamyaing.
They then started splashing each
other for fun with the holy water
that was later used to cleanse the
heads of the royalty. Since the New
Year falls during the hottest time
of the year, it does not take much
to understand the water splashing
ritual spreading to ordinary people
outside the palace, as it apparently
did during the Konbaung dynasty
around 1800.
Some historians also link the
water throwing to a Hindu tradition
where people drench others with
a special red liquid during the
transition to the New Year. “As

the Thingyan festival is derived
from Hinduism,” the Encyclopedia
says, “in ancient times there was a
custom in which Myanmar people
splashed parents, teachers and
elders with scented water using
the sprouts of the thapyay [Eugenia
tree].”
Having diverged from its Hindu
origins and adopted Buddhist and
traditional animist concepts of
its own, the dainty private hairwashing has evolved into an all-out
festival of public dousing. But all
activities during Thingyan and
on New Year’s Day are meant to
be done with love and goodwill,
primarily to end the previous year
and start a new one in bliss.
Splashing water not only cools
and refreshes others during the hot
weather, it also cleanses spiritual
wrongdoings of the preceding
year. There are slight differences
to be found in different parts of
the country. Rakhine people, for
instance, conduct their splashing
rituals from long boats filled with
water and placed on land, while
those in Kengtung celebrate by
beating different drums.
But wherever it happens,
splashing water and doing good
deeds are the common threads as
Thinyan illuminates the whole of
Myanmar. Happy Thingyan and
have a special and wonderful
1378.
This article, first written in 2014 by
Sandar Lwin, has been re-edited for
your reading pleasure and information.

SOLEMN MOMENTS: In the end, when the New Year dawns, the religious and cultural aspects of Thingyan come back into play. And there are those who can’t wait for
that to happen, preferring to shun the boisterous celebrations that precede it. Photo: Zarni Phyo

12

13

Celebration,
the Bogyoke
way

other things. I hope to celebrate
Thingyan here next time,” said Alex,
a New Zealander who was visiting
the market recently.
Celebrating Thingyan at this
market is unique as it is not only
about having fun.
People carry out charitable
activities during this period to
spread goodwill and cheer among
the less fortunate. In the market
compound, Shwe Taung Company
and other businesses offer
Thingyan rice, Mote Lone Yay Paw,
vermicelli soup and Shwe Yin Aye
to visitors.
According to the locals, Zay
Thingyan was celebrated in a
grander way in the past.
“Things have changed somewhat.
We used to celebrate by building a
pavilion where choral dancing was
staged to entertain the crowd, after
which the water-throwing began.
“But the YCDC (Yangon City
Development Council) no longer
allows it (the pavilion). It has been
more than a decade,” said a market
development committee member,
adding that this was done to
maintain public safety. 
Local authorities have also taken
other measures to provide security
for the public
during the festival.
“CCTV cameras have been
installed around the market. People
need not worry about having a good
time during Zay Thingyan,” said U
Tint Zaw.

Festivities start on the eve of
Thingyan at famed bazaar and it’s
something its people treasure

By May Thinzar Naing

IN FASHION: Getting your hair done is part of the preparations for Thingyan.
Photo: Myanmar Times

At the popular 90-year-old Bogyoke
Market, located in the heart of
Yangon, the Thingyan merrymaking is rooted deep in tradition
that mirrors the unity among the
people here.
Unlike most of the country,
celebrations in the market begin
the day before Thingyan Akyo, the

first day of the festival.
“This has been going on for some
45 years. Our people celebrate
the eve, Zay Thingyan, before the
market closes the following day for
the festival. There is a big crowd
because the tourists, who come for
shopping, join in the
festivities,” said U Tint Zaw,
vice chairman of the Market
Development Committee.
It all began when stallholders
started drenching each other with
water on the eve of Thingyan as
they would be away during the
festival. Visitors to the market
joined in the fun and a tradition
began.
This year, from April 7-9, just
before the water festival, the
business community in
the area will serve snacks such as
“Mont Lone Yay Paw” (glutinous rice
ball stuffed
with palm sugar) and “Shwe Yin
Aye” (coconut cream-based dessert)
to visitors to mark the occasion.
“People enjoy the market’s
Zay Thingyan. Companies and
shopkeepers provide meals so

young people are happy,” said Daw
Mya May, who sells arts and crafts
in the market’s eastern row.
For Ko Kyaw Tun, who works in
a jewellery shop in the north of
Bogyoke Market, the
event has a special place in his
heart.
“We throw water at each other,
make snacks and share them with
other shopkeepers and outsiders.
Youths tease each other but we
don’t go to extremes and there is no
indecent behaviour. We just want to
be happy.” 
“The young makeup artists dress
up and dance at the north of the
market. This is a way to welcome
the New Year for shopkeepers,” said
Ko Kyaw Tun.
Bogyoke Market is a major
bazaar with colonial architecture.
It comprises 1,830 shops and
stalls selling textiles, cosmetics,
souvenirs, handicrafts, gemstones
and jewellery and is popular with
both locals and tourists.
“I always come to Bogyoke
Market when I am in Yangon. There
are local handicrafts and lots of

In front of Bogyoke Market. Photo: Myanmar Times

IN QUIETER TIMES (opposite page and above): Tourists are invariably drawn to Bogyoke Market in Yangon and the wares on display. Unfortunately for them, Bogyoke
takes a break during Thingyan. Photos: Myanmar Times

Translation by Thiri Min Htun and
Khine Thazin Han

14

15

Tourist, beware too

Keeping the streets safe
Yangon police gear for a more crime-free Thingyan by engaging the public

While there’s water everywhere, so too is El Nino – and heat and alcohol
can be a deadly combination

By Toe Wai Aung

By Myint Kay Thi
The sizzling heat fuelled by El
Nino is unlikely to be kind to those
celebrating the much anticipated
Thingyan water festival, with
doctors warning that the unusually
hot weather could spell health
troubles for some.
Tourists unaccustomed to
the weather here should take
precautions to stay cool and well
hydrated to avoid suffering from
heatstroke – and intake of alcoholic
drinks during the hottest times of
the day is particularly risky if one
has health issues. The Ministry of
Health has already advised people
to take precautions if engaged in
outdoor activities, especially during
Thingyan in April, invariably one of
the hottest months of the year.
“Heatstroke is common when
temperatures are high, so go to the
nearest hospital or clinic quickly
instead of treating yourself,” said
general practitioner Dr Moe Aung
Kyaw Naing, adding that some
might mistake it for normal fever.
“Those suffering from heatstroke
could lose consciousness and even
their lives if
treatment is delayed.”
Children and senior citizens with
heart related problems, those with
high blood pressure or diabetes are
particularly vulnerable, he added.
“Those working under the hot sun
should take care as well. They
should drink lots of water. Those
who drink alcohol when it is very
hot are also prone to heatstroke.
It can easily cost them their lives,”
said Dr Moe Kyaw Naing.
Travellers are also at risk if they
stay out in the sun too long. “The
sudden change in temperature
when they enter an air-conditioned
bus can cause heatstroke,” he
warned.

ANYTHING GOES: This is almost like full body armour, sunblock not needed. It must also help against those
pesky water jets. Photo: Myanmar Times

The symptoms of heatstroke
are sweating profusely, dry mouth,
dizziness, body cramps and 
vomiting before feeling disoriented
and losing consciousness. “Losing
consciousness is the final stage.
You need to be worried if the body
temperature reaches 106 degrees
Fahrenheit. You must reduce the
temperature to 102 degrees within
an hour or face dire consequences,”

said Dr Than Tun Aung, deputy
director of the Public Health
Department.
People also need to protect
themselves against infectious skin
diseases, gastroenteritis (diarrhea
and vomiting), dysentery and
cholera, which could all be caused
by potential water shortages during
the El Nino spell, the ministry
warned.

“In 2010 many people suffered
from diseases during the hot
season. We already have had a case
of meningitis, which tends to occur
in dry and dusty climate, this year.
Mosquito-borne diseases are also
a threat during the hot season,”
said Dr Tun Aung, citing malaria,
Japanese encephalitis, dengue and
chikungunya as examples.
The ministry offered some safety

tips: avoid alcohol consumption
and strenuous exercises between
10am and 5pm, wear hats or use
umbrellas, don light coloured and
baggy clothes when out in the
open, and consume plenty of water
to avoid dehydration.
Translation by San Lay and
Kyawt Darly Lin

It’s Heatstroke
WARNING SIGNS
• Pale skin
• Rapid pulse
• Fast, shallow breathing
• Dizzy or nauseous
• Sweating profusely
• Fatigue, weakness
• Muscle weakness or cramps
Action: Get to a cool shady spot as
quickly as possible. Drink plenty
of water or other fluids containing
sugar and salt. Don’t drink alcohol.
If you’re not feeling better after 30
minutes, seek treatment.
WHEN IT’S LIFE THREATENING
• Skin that feels hot and dry, but
not sweaty
• Confusion or loss of
consciousness
• Throbbing headache
• Frequent vomiting
• Shortness of breath or trouble
breathing

Action: Call 911
immediately if you
suspect it’s heatstroke. Drink
cool fluid, again not alcohol. Use
a fan and a wet cloth or sponge to
cool the body down.
PREVENTION
Simple ways to avoid heatstroke:
• Don’t overexert.
• Drink a quart of fluid an hour.
• Wear loose clothing light in
colour and fabric, wear a hat
and sunblock, and stay in the
shade or indoors where possible.
• Open windows and use fans, or
turn on air conditioning. If you
don›t have air conditioning, go
to a public place that does, like a
mall, library, or movie theatre.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol,
which can speed up
dehydration.

Yangon police have intensified
security measures to curb crime
and avoid untoward incidents
during the Thingyan festival, where
tens of thousands of people are
expected to throng the streets in
celebration.
The security arrangements range
from organising public talks on the
rules governing the festivities, to
advising shopkeepers on alcohol
sale and warning against the use of
sex stimulants and narcotics.
Police Brigadier General Win
Naing, commander of the Yangon
Region Police Force, said the crime
prevention unit had stepped up
preparations since the first week
of March. “Township police force
commanders and patrol officers
have given talks on reducing crime
during Thingyan. This included
advice against the use of narcotics
and stimulants and the sale of
illegal liquor,” said U Khin Maung
Soe who lives in Mingalar Taung
Nyunt township.
Police have been forced to beef
up security due to an alarming
spike in crime during the festival
season in the past. According to
Ministry of Home Affairs’ country
statistics, 194 criminal acts,
190 injuries and 15 deaths were
recorded nationwide during the
2014 Thingyan. Last year saw 174
crimes, 356 injuries and 16 deaths.
In Yangon, to ensure public
safety, police have teamed up with
the organisers to provide security
at pandals at Kandawgyi, one of
the most popular spots during the
festival, by installing CCTV cameras
and deploying guards in public
places.
Police are hopeful their intensive
early efforts will reduce the
crime rate during the festival.
Police Captain Thi Thi Myint from
Yangon Region Police Force said,
based on previous experience,
these proactive moves have been
successful in tackling crime in
the city which is Myanmar’s
commercial hub.
“Through education and crime
prevention measures in the
townships, the crime rate in 2015
was lower than in 2014,” he pointed
out. Police will also be monitoring
the heavy traffic flow in the streets
that are usually packed with
pedestrians and vehicles during
this period.
More officers will be deployed,
especially in downtown Yangon,
and tow truck operators have been
instructed to be on standby to tow
away broken down vehicles. Drivers
are advised to check newspapers
and journals for the tow truck
operators’ contact numbers.
Traffic police will also begin
conducting breathalyzer tests from
early April to nab drunk drivers in
an attempt to prevent accidents.
Police have also directed owners
of beer stations and restaurants
to abide by the rules and close
their operations by 11pm to stop
revellers from getting intoxicated.
Translation by Khant Lin Oo 

SOME DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, SOME DON'T: The line between good and bad behaviour is being blurred. Photo: Than Naing

16

17

GOSH X-CEPTIONAL
WEAR
17400-Ks
Thingyan Accessories
@ All City Mart Branch

oBuFefa&b,favmufpdkpdk
tvSrysufwJhEIwfcrf;eD

Thingyan Promotion
Single Room: 60,000 Kyats
Double Room: 70,000 Kyats
Reservation & Inquiry:
01-376568, 377956, 09-2042228

Gosh Velvet Touch Lipstick
New Matt Shades
11700-Ks
GOSH
Mineral Waterproof Eye
Shadow
9,600-Ks

Huile
36,000-Ks
Every
JYUNKA
counter
@ every
shopping
mall
18,950 Kyats
20% Discount

Tel: 09 450062899,
09 250195211, 09
799794087

9,950 Kyats
20% Discount

7,450 Kyats
20% Discount

Every
NUXEcounter
@ every
shopping
mall

Nuxe Sun
30,000-Ks

Phyto Colour
17,000-Ks

Thingyan Promotion
Superior Room:
USD 80 net per room per night
Bamboo Executive:
USD 125 net per room per night
(Myanmar Citizen Only)
Reservation & Inquiry:
01-371992,09 263440500

Thingyan Package A
Deluxe Room: (without kitchen)
USD 110 net per night for 2 persons
Extra person at US$ 25
Thingyan Package B
One bedroom suite for
2 persons at US$ 120 net per night
Extra person at US$ 25
Reservation & Inquiry:
01- 650933 Ext: 121/122

Summer Season Local Promotion
- Lake Front Villa - 144000 Kyats per
room per night/ Single or Double
- Garden View Villa - 124000 Kyats per
room per night/ Single or Double
- Extra bed - 70000 Kyats per bed
(1st April 2016 to 30th April 2016)
Reservation & Inquiry:
01-377275, 09-256208093, 09-73163372

3% to 20 % Discount for all items
Showroom (1) SA-7, Aung Zay Ya Housing, Corner of Ahlone Rd & Strand Road,
Yangon. Tel: 01-2301 267, 09-4315 3423
Showroom (2) 105/106,First Floor,
Yuzana Plaza, Yangon. Tel: 09-26113 4774,
09-26113 4884
Showroom (3) 322, Maha Bandoola
Garden St, Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon.
Tel: 01-376361, 09-7301 8800
Showroom (4) Second Floor,
Myanmar Plaza, Bahan Tsp, Yangon.
Tel: 0979098 8891~2
Showroom (5) G6, Ground Floor,
Sinma Living Mall, Nay Pyi Taw.
Tel: 094920 7806

March 25 ~ April 10
Buy HUAWEI GR5
Get Gift Box &
Magic Cup
Hotline: 019000900

Myanmar Citizens Rate
Kyats 96,000 net per night at Double
Deluxe Garden View
Kyats 156,000 net per night at Double Deluxe River View
Expatriate Rate
USD 110 net per night at Double
Deluxe Garden View
USD 170 net per night at Double
Deluxe River View
Reservation & Inquiry:
01-255333, 01-255401

Superior Room
USD 90 net for day use
USD 120 net for one night stay
(Myanmar Citizen Only)
(From 26 March until 20 April 2016)
Reservation & Inquiry:
01- 250 388

Deluxe Room @ Kyats 50,000 net
Including Breakfast for 2 persons
15% Discount @ Holly Cafe’
Reservation & Inquiry:
09-968866617-8

18

19

Hot
fashion
show

Traditionalists may not like it,
but vibrant colours and cool
clothes are in this Thingyan

GETTING CREATIVE: Hairstyles and the colour used (above and opposite pages)  are an attempt to set or follow trends.
Some are spot on, some not. Photo: Nyan Zay Htet

By Khin Wine Phyu Phyu
IF you like it loud, in colour, hairstyle and
clothes, you would fit right in with the
young crowd when Myanmar parties during
Thingyan.
From the urban to the rural, the rich to the
poor, people will be donning new clothes in
a vibrant show of celebration. But when it
comes to fancy hairstyles and flashy designer

clothing, it is the fashion-minded urban
teenagers who will be setting the trend this
year.
The proliferation of social media has
created more awareness among the young
about the ever-changing global fashion scene.
Mandalay-based journalist U Than Naing
Oo said: “Tradition and fashion can’t be
stopped. People take what they like and throw
away what they don’t. Thingyan fashion is
like that (as well).”

Myanmar’s fashion industry was largely
influenced by the popular 1984 movie
“Thingyan Rain”, but gradually matured in
the 1990s as the nation embraced a more
open policy, allowing foreign designs and
accessories to flood the domestic market.
The changing economic realities and
growing middle class, powered by the huge
remittance flowing from those working
abroad, have created a new consumer culture
and inspired a generation of creative talent

in fashion, from hair stylists to designers to
entrepreneurs. 
The party mood is certainly in the air
ahead of Thingyan. Girls are dyeing their hair
in rainbow colours and busy shopping for
hats and scarves, while the guys mainly look
for that flashy attire to strut in.
“I have dyed my hair in punk fashion for
Thingyan. I will shave my head after the
festival,” said an excited Mg Wunna Aung, a
second year university student from

Mingalardon township. He boasted
that his new hairstyle, in shades
of blue and grey, cost him nearly
30,000 kyat.
Dyeing the hair in striking colours
is becoming a hot trend with
Myanmar youth.
“Unusual colours and hairstyles
are the in thing this time. Faded
colours was the fad for two years
during Thingyan. Men bleached
their hair white or silver with light 
blue and green streaks,” said Ko
Aung Myat Thu, who operates the
Aroma Makeup Studio.
“Today, technicolour, pink, blue
and green, strands are popular
among the girls,” he added.
Thingyan, a festival to ward off bad
luck and evil by splashing water
around, certainly appears to be
fuelling Myanmar’s fashion industry.
Stores are enjoying brisk sales and
shopping malls are offering special
promotions to draw customers to
purchase clothing and accessories
for the big festival.
The El Nino effect also seems to
have had an influence on fashion
choices with many opting for
clothes more suitable for the hot
days ahead. 
“We need to avoid black and go
for light colours for the whole five
days of the festival. I will be wearing
short pants and a sleeveless shirt
with my UV raincoat,” Ma Mi Mi
from Kandawlay said, mindful of
the buckets of water which will be
aimed her way.

20

21

Thangyat, loud and clear
Artist Thant Zin – a member of Kyun Note Do The Swe Sone Inn Ar Su –
always a thangyat practitioner before anything else, believes this Thingyan will be
special because of what’s happening in the political scene…

TRIBUTES: Remembering the deeds of the famous at a thangyat gathering
recently. Photo: Myanmar Times

THE images of this summer are quite clear in my
mind. It isn’t easy to bear the El Nino weather. Even
when going about the usual daily activities, people
need to take extra care. Meanwhile, the Thingyan
festival days are drawing closer and closer, seemingly
keeping in step with the changes the country is
undergoing, and where careful steps are needed as
well.
The new government is taking shape, the new
ministries, far fewer than previously, and the
ministers, a blend that’s a bow to reconciliation
some would say, have been named. Everyone wanted
to know what Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s role would
be. Now they know. So the new government will be
installed.
How does all this tie in with Thingyan? Well, it will,
with thangyat, the traditional satirical chanting that is
so much a part of the annual water festival spectacle.
It is chanting that praises, and more often than not
pokes fun at people, issues, events etc – it seems that
anything under the hot sun is fair game – that affect
Myanmar and its people.
This one should be special, given the political
changes happening. Performers have already

been busy writing new, original lines of thangyat.
Competitive and motivated thangyat are going to
be enjoyed soon, though not necessarily by all, this
Thingyan.
I remember the thangyat of old, of how it used
to be. There might even be others who remember
that celebrations lasted all night long until dawn.
Before 1988, thangyat troupes used to start their
competitions in the afternoon. During my childhood,
whenever a well-decorated entertainment car arrived,
even when we were in the midst of our water games,
we would rush out to see it. It was that much of an
event.
Since then, the fortunes of thangyat troupes have
ebbed and flowed, for several reasons. One main
reason was cost, the other was the lack of opportunity
to cover those costs by winning thangyat competitions
at pandals that offer prize money. And as pandals that
offer prize money are fewer now, the troupes tend to
start competing only in the evening, where they can.
Last year there were only four pandals that offered
prizes and only about 20 troupes joined the festivities
in Yangon, although that number could increase this
year.

It isn’t cheap any longer to form a
thangyat troupe. During my childhood,
there was a troupe known as “Kalay
Zakar”(A Child’s Words) and it only
cost 700 kyats to form it. In 1979, it
cost 2500 kyats. Today, it would cost
between 4 and 5 million kyats to form
one, and it would take a very good
thangyat group indeed to even come
close to covering that kind of cost.
Even so, these appear to be better
days for thangyat troupes and
thangyat lovers. Thanks to a thangyat
competition known as “Lu Du Pe Tin”
first organised by SkyNet in 2013,
thangyat troupes are stirring again.
Troupes we have not seen for several
years are reappearing. More thangyat
chanting has been heard. More
colourfully decorated cars bearing
thangyat performers have been seen.
More revellers have been entertained.
The main disappointment has been
that there has not been an increase in
the number of pandals offering prize
money.
I think the solution to that would
be for every ward in every township
to launch a pandal that offers prize
money. Thuwana Township is a good
example of that. This year Wards 24,
25 and 29 of the township will launch
three such pandals, namely “Yadana
Myay”, “Sone Thar Myine Myay” and
“Shwe Wah San”. That is in addition
to pandals “Bama Thit” at 46th Street
and “Shwe Zin” at Thingangyun which
have done so for some time.
This year thangyat could also be
well remembered for what has already
happened some time before the

festival, before the chanting was due
to begin. On February 14, thangyat
groups gathered at Dammayone Me
Done (3) street, Thuwanna City to
form an umbrella group to promote
thangyat. That in itself was an
achievement as troupes put aside their
sometimes intense rivalry for the love
of thangyat.
Moving forward to Thingyan, I
heard an entertainment pandal at
Yuzana Garden City will be offering
150,000 kyats for the winner of a Swal
Sone Thangyat contest.
In another development, U Cho
Gyi (Kyun Note Do The Swal Sone Inn
Ar Su) will contest at a show which
will include dance, humour and
thangyat. Ko Toe Win (Uppamardayna
Thanmadayhta) will entertain
audiences with antiphonal chants and
humour. Others who will be out and
about are Ma Bu Khar group, U Sein
Win and Ko Hla Win (Thar Ki New).
The transition in government, and
what went before and what is to come,
will undoubtedly feature in thangyat.
It is a pity that most of the foreign
tourists will not enjoy the wit, the jabs
and the joy in the phrasing because
they don’t understand the language. It
would be a more enjoyable Thingyan
for them if they did.
This writer was and will always
be a real Thingyan and thangyat
man before he is a painter. Long may
Thingyan and thangyat live on in this
country of ours.
Translation by Kyawt Darly Lin
and Emoon
IN FULL COLOUR: A thangyat troupe heading for action. Photo: Myanmar Times

22

23

The beautiful and the ugly
What’s the
point of it all
when instead
of joy,
we feel anger

Watch what
you say and
do…
WATCHING the often times wild goings-on during
Thingyan, the tourist in Myanmar might think it is
a time when anything goes. Yes, enjoy the spectacle,
the happiness and the celebrations but know also
that you can fall afoul of the law if you go too far.
Listed below are the don’ts.
Avoid using obscene language and swearing at
others. Under Section 294 of the penal code the
punishment is three months’ imprisonment if
found guilty.
Whether on the pandals (special stages) or not, be
careful if you are brandishing any blunt object. If
someone is accidentally hurt, you could be charged
under Sections 323 and 325 of the penal code.
That goes for any sharp instrument too, under
Sections 324 and 326. Punishment for those acts
can range from a minimum of a year to long term
imprisonment, depending on how much hurt is
caused.
Behave when around the female revellers too.
Physical abuse of one can mean a jail term of
between two months and two years under Criminal
Act 354. The punishment is up to one year for
insulting behaviour (Criminal Act 509).
Drunken behaviour that annoys bystanders
(Criminal Act 510) will lead to a 24-hour stay in jail,
no doubt with fellow drunks.
WHEN IT GETS DANGEROUS: Brave or foolhardy, revellers take their chances against powerful water jets. Photo: Myanmar Times

By Hein Min Latt
“THE lady in the white dress is
beautiful… so is the one in the red
dress.
The ladies with the wet dresses
from this pandal are the most
beautiful.
Please tell me who you are…”
I’d heard this lovely Thingyan song
many times before and that time
it came from a DVD player on a
lottery ticket seller’s push cart.
To me, it’s one of the tunes
that capture so much of what
is beautiful about Thingyan,
Myanmar’s traditional water
festival and its lovely customs.
Like its many jokes, the gentle
teasing and even when we are
doused with water. Yes, everybody
gets wet! And that’s also part of
the fun of Thingyan and it helps
everyone cool off during the hot
season.
Unfortunately, these days, there
are also those who find joy in
hurting fellow revellers.
Some go wild, throwing big
buckets of water and even using
high pressure hoses to target
vehicles and passersby. Those
hoses are dangerous and can really
hurt the eyes if there’s a direct hit.
I don’t know if it can make you
go blind, but I’ve suffered welts
on my arm and have been hurt
when targeted from close range by
someone with water cannons.
Victims have been known to also
fall off the many pickup trucks
that fill the streets during the

celebrations.
When something like that
happens, I wonder what’s the
point of it all. When instead of joy,
we feel anger. When instead of
togetherness, we feel abused.
No matter how some would
like to excuse it, putting it down
to over-exuberance or youthful
mindlessness, we can’t disguise it:
this is the ugly side of Thingyan.
Incidents of men unzipping and
exposing themselves; others
harassing women in the name of
fun; too many too drunk to realise
what they are doing; the quarrels
and fights, and at times the deaths
that occur because of that; and,
yes, even the scantily clad young
women who show more than they
should.
I suppose it’s inevitable when
drinks, unfortunately, flow so freely.
But I feel disappointed. Is this the
Thingyan festival we want?
I believe that the many of us
who believe Thingyan should be a
time of beauty, joy and celebration
– and not of such excesses –
should remind the others that
there is such a thing as selfcontrol and the rule of law (see
sidebar story). And that even in
celebration, each man and woman
is entitled to have their rights and
dignity protected by law.
My wish this Thingyan is that we
all have fun without damaging a
lovely tradition that welcomes the
Myanmar New Year.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun and Su
Wunna Aung

24

25

Getting away
from it all
If some time away at a
meditation centre is how you
want to spend Thingyan, listed
here are some of the many
options open to you.

YANGON
Chanmyay Yeiktha
55A Kabar Aye Pagoda Road
Tel: 01-661479
Fax: 01-667050
Dhamma Joti
Wingaba Yele Kyaung, Nga Htat Gyi
Pagoda Road, Bahan township
Tel: 01-549290
Mahasi
Pyay Road, 9 Mile, Mayangone
township
Tel: 01-661167
Mahasi
16 Sarsana Yeiktha Street, Bahan
township
Tel: 01-541971, 545918
Mingun Tipidaka Kyaung
12 Sagawah Street, Dagon
township
Tel: 01-222277, 222278
Mogok Yeiktha
82 Natmauk Street, Bahan
township
Tel: 01-541860, 550184
Nyaung Kan Aye
Yangon-Insein Road, Gyogone,
Insein township
Tel: 01-642219, 641469
Pa-Auk Center
Thilawa Road (near Kyaik-Khauk
Pagoda), Payargon Village,
Thanlyin township
Tel: (95) 56-21927

TRADITION ON DISPLAY: Novices parade around Tamar Takay village, Waw township, Bago region. Photo: Than Naing

A sacred pre-Thingyan ritual
Mya Kay Khine Soe observes a solemn ceremony that harks back to her younger
days and hopes that some things will stay the same
IN a small village in Taungdwingyi township
in Magwe Region, a revered ceremony steeped
in Buddhist tradition took place last month
before the Thingyan festival.
Carrying an image of Buddha from the
monastery to the donation mandat (a large
reception tent for guests) was part of the
ceremony where fathers were ordained into
monkhood, sons novitiated and daughters had
their ears pierced.
“They come and take the Buddha image
from our monastery on the eve of the
ceremony. On donation day, there is a
procession of the donors and music troupes
with the Buddha image leading the line,” said
U Nandar, the presiding monk at the Shwe
Yaung Daw Monastery.
“The novices and girls who have their ears

pierced are shown to the local nats (spirits).
After that, everybody takes the eight precepts
from the monks. The donors usually put up
big tents at their houses but some have the
tents erected at the monastery.”
That day, before the ceremony, a group
of about 15 children and adults beating
traditional drums (dobats) danced into the
monastery followed by the donors. The head
of the donors carried a silver tray while
another man held a white umbrella as they
walked around the Shwe Yaung Taw Pagoda.
The head donor, his wife and the man
carrying the white umbrella then entered the
shrine, where they knelt down to pray.
The head donor then respectfully placed the
Buddha image on the silver tray and, shielded
by the white umbrella, made his way down

the monastery steps as his wife sprinkled
scented water and pop corn on both sides.
The Buddha image was then taken to
and placed at the mandat. The cost for this
ceremony can be borne by a single donor or
collectively raised from a number of people.
At the function, a special menu of pork or
fish curry, fried chillies, bean soup and a salad
of plum and mango, is served.
“Some of the money collected at the
donation ceremony is shared among the
villagers who helped in putting up the mandat
and cooking food for the visitors,” said U
Nandar.
“On the day of the ceremony, the showing
of the nats takes place early in the morning
and taking the eight precepts at 9am. This is
followed by serving the guests with food. The

sermons by the monks start at 2pm.”
In 1991, when I was a young girl, I donated
K5,000 for the ceremony where I was initiated
into the nunhood. The actual cost was
K10,000 if the price of the clothes donned was
included.
More than 20 girls were ordained that day
and it was quite a big occasion. After their
heads were shaved, there were offerings of
rice and other daily items from the guests.
These solemn affairs have changed over
time and march to the beat of a different tune
in many places today. For example, we hardly
see traditional music troupes at the ordination
and novitiation ceremonies in the big cities
anymore.
Hopefully, the belief and faith remain as
strong as ever.

Panditarama
80 A Thanlwin Road, Bahan
township
Tel: 01-535448, 705525
Pauk Zayti
Pauk Zayti Street on Kyaik Waing
Pagoda Road, 8 Mile, Mayangone
township
Tel: 01-660148, 09-8534530
Saddhamma Ransi
7 Zeyar Khemar Road, Mayangone
township
Shwe Minn Wun
70 Sarsana Yeiktha Street, Bahan
township
Tel: 01-542876
Shwe Oo Min
Pa Ywat Sate Kone, North
Okkalapa township
Tel: 01-664807
Shwe Oo Min Forest Center
Aung Myay Thayar Street,
Kontabaung Village, Mingalardon
township
Tel: 01-638170, 636402
Sun Lun Gu
Thanlarwaddy Road, 7 Mile,
U Lun Maung Street, 7 Ward,
Mayangone township
Tel: 01-660860
Thae Inn Gu
Tat Yin 9 bus stop
Kontabaung Village, Mingalardon
township

HMAWBI
Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation
Centre
588, No 3 Block, Hmawbi township
Tel: 01-620-321
Thae Inn Gu
Tat Yin 9 bus stop
Hnaw Gone Village,
Hmawbi township
PYIN OO LWIN
Chanmyay Yeiktha
Toe Gyi Koun Village, near Anee
Sakhann railway station
Tel: 0095-85-22457
MAWLAMYINE
Pa-Auk Centre
Mawlamyine, Mon State
Tel: (95) 57-22853
Note: This listing is incomplete
and for information only and does
not represent any opinion of or
endorsement by
The Myanmar Times
Source: nyeinsae.blogspot.com

26

27

Beach
getaways,
both far
and near
WHAT COULD BE BETTER?: To beach
lovers and those seeking some quiet,
the coconut trees, the breeze, blue sea
and white sandy beaches are simply
irresistible. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

To get away from the madding crowd, those
hoping for quiet head for sun, surf and sand

By Ei Ei Thu
THE beach offers a welcome respite for those looking for a somewhat
cooler and quieter Thingyan.
The most crowded tourist spots during Thingyan are Bagan, Inle,
Taunggyi and Mandalay, which have their own attractions. However,
others in Myanmar, both locals and foreigners, will be looking to escape
the sultry summer heat and wild city celebrations by heading to the
nearest beach.
Famous beaches such as Chaungtha, Ngwe Saung and Ngapali are likely
to draw the bigger crowds.
Chaungtha Beach is the most popular as it is the cheapest option. Located
near a village, food is cheaply available, while hotels and inns charge
affordable rates.
For those wishing to avoid the crowd, Ngwe Saung Beach is an ideal
location, just two hours from Chaungtha. It is the second most popular
beach with local tourists as it is relatively cheap.
Hotels have lined up special programs for Thingyan with water parties
and traditional food like mont-lone-yay-paw, Tharku, Mokelatsaung and
buffet dinner, said Ko Phyo Min Zaw, manager at Sunny Paradise Resort.
“Our hotel will have a water party for the guests. They can play with
water like mandats in cities. There is dancing for those who prefer not to
get wet. We will also have traditional choral dance performances at night,”
he said.
The idyllic Ngapali Beach is perfect for those who prefer a more
luxurious setting. One of the top tourist spots in the country, and ranked
the 8th best beach in the world, it will most certainly cost much more.
“Most people come to Ngapali for a quiet and relaxing break. It is a
favourite with foreigners,” said a Bay View Hotel staff. “There is no loud
and wild water festival but we have many beach activities available.”
With the cities and towns hot, crowded and disorderly, the beach offers
a more relaxed Thingyan holiday. And there will be plenty of water at
hand.
Translated by Khant Linn Oo

28

29

Finding peace in the hills

The other
charms of
Pyin Oo Lwin
Waterfalls, flowers, hot air
balloons are part of the show
By Ei Ei Thu

NATURE’S GIFT: If this doesn’t take your breath away, not much else, if anything, will. This is BE waterfall near Pyin Oo Lwin town in the hills 40 miles from Mandalay. Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

It’s cool, beautiful
and relaxing, and
40 miles from
Mandalay

By Phyo Wai Kyaw
ANYONE who desires peace of mind, and is in the know,
would certainly consider Pyin Oo Lwin as one of their
destinations. In fact, Pyin Oo Lwin, or “peaceful hill
town”, near Mandalay would probably be first on the list.
Famed for its beautiful views, festivals, food, places to
relax and cold weather, the town attracts many visitors.
Even the drive there can be a memorable experience.
The Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin road cuts through
forest areas and there was a time not too long ago
when travellers could count on hearing the cries of
wild animals as they drove through. The route’s not
that green anymore but the town is still attractive
to many.
Located on the Mandalay-Lashio road, Pyin Oo
Lwin is some 40 miles from Mandalay and 3500 feet
above sea level. It was a hill station in the colonial

era and although some of the town’s original
features have been changed due to urbanisation,
enough remains to make it worthy of a visit.
It is about one and half hour’s drive to Pyin
Oo Lwin from Mandalay. But if it coincides with
Thingyan holidays or local festivals it might
take longer because of traffic congestion. Mostly,
however, it is very comfortable drive.
It would be better to stay overnight if you don’t
want to miss anything. If you are a nature buff,
you might want to set aside some extra time for
Kandawgyi Garden and its wonderful variety of bird,
insect and plant life. Then there’s also the beautiful
lake that’s bound to charm the first-time visitor.
The garden was built in 1915 and most visitors go
there with the intention of having a leisurely lunch
as well as to take in the sights. The admission fee is
K1000 per person.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

THERE are quite a number of
must-see spots in Pyin Oo Lwin and
the Pwal Kout waterfall is one of
them. Its popularity is clear once
you arrive there; children can be
seen frolicking in the water, parents
lazing around or shopping and
eating at the stalls in the area.
There’s another waterfall, Dat
Taw Gyaint, near Pyin Oo Lwin but
you would need more time to get
there. But this beautiful sight is
worth the visit if you’re spending
more than a day in town. In fact,
you should stay for more than a day
and make time for it.
Pate Chin Myaung cave and its
many stalactites could also be

unforgettable and it is close to Pwal
Kout waterfall so it won’t take much
time to get there.
Another must-see place is Mahar
Ant Htoo Kan Thar Pagoda.
And let’s not forget the food.
Maw Hta Nu has Shan traditional
food and other delicious dishes. It is
located in the downtown area. Feel
restaurant is another popular stop
for visitors.
Seasonal festivals are the other
attractions in Pyin Oo Lwin. One
of the more famous ones is the
Tazaungdaing hot air balloon
festival and every year more and
more people from all over the
county are drawn to it. Another big
one is the town’s flower festival,
usually held every December.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe

LOTS TO SEE: There’s more than enough to keep the active visitor busy in Pyin
Oo Lwin, like the bird life (top right), a walk in beautiful Kandawgyi Garden
(right), and the annual hot air balloon festival (below), just to name a few.
Photos: Phyo Wai Kyaw

30

What is in the forecast for 1378

Gregorian calendar year 2016-2017
Myanmar calendar year 1378

Special yearly horoscope for 12 zodiac signs

Buddhist calendar year 2560

Myanmar East longitude from 92 degree :10’ to 101 degree :11’
Astrologer: Aung Myin Kyaw
Phone: 09731135632

North latitude from 9 degree:30 to 28 degree: 31’

Economics &
business

Star

Health

Education

Love

Aquarius

Bad
Beware of contagious
sexual diseases and
nerve disorders

Bad
Because you’re weak
in learning
• Politics, economics

Bad, because you
could make mistakes

Be cautious in joint
ventures
• Mistakes can
happen because
you’re too trusting
and open

Be cautious, think
before you leap
• Don’t be too
emotional.

Strive to find the good
in yourself

Donate robes to
monks

Do good and you will
always benefit from it

Pisces

Bad
Beware of stress and
chronic swelling

Bad
Because of wrong
decisions (Arts)
• Philosophy,
psychology, religion

Fair, because of your
inability to control your
feelings

Know your
competitors
• Show your
skills only when
necessary.

Be forgiving and
understanding to find
balance here

Poor knowledge leads
to unstable behaviour

Donate drinking water

Gain more knowledge
to be wiser
Be wise and have a
good heart

Aries

Good
Beware of stress and
stomach, joint and
urinary problems

Outstanding success
• Industry, electricity ,
military, technology

Don’t give it priority
• If you have to, find
the one who loves
you

Lucky, successful
• Important to be
explicit

Be clear about your
responsibilities
• Don’t be suspicious

About pride,
foolishness

Offer meals to
Buddhist monks early
in the morning

Need to follow rules
and regulations

Taurus

Fair
Beware of diabetes,
high blood pressure,
and stress,-related,
lung and , heart
diseases

Difficulties involved
• Arts, movies and
music
• Unexpected good
luck

Choosy
• You’re are too close
to your partner, but
far away each other

Insincere people are
around you
• Don’t bite off more
than you can chew

Concentrate on just
one
• Forgive others

Of fake friends

Show gratitude to
parents and teachers

Appreciate good deeds
and try to be good

Gemini

Fair
Beware of heart and
stomach problems

Poor
Because of a bad
environment and little
interest in what you’re
doing

Many
misunderstandings
• You’re very ignorant
and selfish

You’re selfish and
greedy but will make
some progress

Give priority to others
• Prove yourself by
giving more

Of following wrong
beliefs

Look after the elderly
and the disabled

Be aware that a stitch
in time saves nine

Cancer

Fit
Beware of mental,
ear, throat and eye
problems

Decision-making can
be wrong
• Economy, military
education, law

Fortunes not too good
• You won’t like what
you get and you
won’t get what you
like

Uncertain
• Be more
adventurous

Be transparent and
understand the value
of love

About being too
narrow minded

Do a good deed daily

Be realistic, live in here
and now

Leo

Bad*
Beware of problems
with nerves, food
poisoning, dizziness
and stroke

Difficult
• Education (art),
research

Heartless
• Your strong desires
mean you put
yourself before
others

You have to work
for your luck and
knowledge
• Need good friends

Be sympathetic and
charitable
• Don’t go against
nature

Of being unethical

Concentrate on being
a more moral person

Take care of how you
act, what you say and
your intentions

Virgo

Beware of stress,
wrong dosage of
drugs, urinary issues
and hypertension

Troubling
• Education (Science),
accountancy,
economics

Suspicious mind
• Unable to
understand value
of love.

Lack of luck leads to
lack of fortune
• Weak in learning

You know what makes
a difference in life

Of being boastful and
lying

Fulfill your need for
more education

Value life and its
meanings

Libra

Fair
Beware of oral,
colon, and stomach
problems and external
factors such as
accidents

Fair
• Industry, electricity,
computers, law,
politics, social
studies

Confusion reigns
• Possibility of
making the wrong
choice

Have confidence in
yourself
• Value promises
made

Don’t settle for less
• Face difficulties
that come your way

Of following and
imitating mistakes of
others

Donate blood, eat
vegetables

Be kind and loving to
others

Bad
There’s grief and
regret, and possible
heart, lung, bile
and hypertension
problems

• Troubling, verging
on the bad because
of wrong decisions

Lack of generosity
• It leads to lack of
understanding in
matters of the heart

Don’t be selfish
• Don’t make
decisions on
guesswork. Get the
facts.

Build trust
• Think things
through before
acting

Of being envious of the
successes of others

If you have to, spare or
save a life

Be more modest

Fair
Because you don’t
place much value
on education and
could make the wrong
decision (arts)

Lucky, though there
may be some worries

Advantages and
disadvantages to be
experienced here, so
take care

Be wise, be smart in
your dealings
• Don’t doubt your
partner

Of your perceptions of
others

Donate rice

Be careful when
criticising and blaming
others

Fair
Because of wrong
priorities and desires
• Industry, electricity,
medicine

Fair, because you’re
undecisive

Don’t over-think
decisions
• Make donations to
the needy

Know your duties and
responsibilities
• Believe in loyalty

Of trusting and
overestimating others

Propagate the
teachings of Buddha

Continue to make
merits to cut demerits.

Scorpio

Sagittarius Fair
Beware of stress, and
intestine and colon
problems

Capricorn

Fair
There’s the possibility
of grief, constipation
and lack of nutrition

Marriage

To be careful

Astrologer advice

Note