2020 Silent Burmese Thingyan Festival by Junior Win

We welcome our Burmese New Year beginning with three days or 4 days of water festival begins on 13th April and will end on 15th or 16th of April. This year, 2020 Thingyan festival was now under the order of ‘stay-at-home’ from an authority by ordering residents to stay home except for family health care or going to the market to control Covid-19. People were not allowed to have nice clean fun with dear friends sprinkling water on one another in the Thingyan or Watering Festival. However there is no welcoming water festival for Myanmar New Year, we all have a chance to welcome Tha-Gyar-Min, king of the celestial.

(Tha-Gyar-Min, King of the celestial)

(Illustrated by Maung Yit)

Tha-Gyar-Min, king of the Celestial comes and visits the human abode during Thingyan Festival. We welcome Thingyan Pot (Atar Owe) prepared by seven-day-born flowers or leaves, the symbol of Burmese New Year. We can buy Thingyan Pot including flowers and leaves at the market easily.

(Thingyan pots and packs or seven-day-born flowers and leaves at the market.)

Sometimes Thingyan Pot sellers request their customers to buy two Thingyan Pots. If one of your family members’ birthday is the same day of Tha-Gyar-Min’s return day (same as the last day of Thingyan Festival.), you will have to buy two Thingyan Pots; one is for your family, and the other is for your family member whose birthday is the same day of the last day of Thingyan Festival. This year, the last day of Thingyan Festival is Thursday, and we were born on Thursday. So we would have to buy two Thingyan Pots! (My brother and I are twins. We were born on Thursday!)

(My little niece, and we welcomed Tha-Gyar-Min with two thingyan pots, because we all are born on Thursday.) (Illustrated by Maung Yit.)

Myanmar believes that if one’s birthday (day of the week) coincides with the last day of Thingyan Festival, this coincidence is believed to be unlucky. That’s why extra Thingyan Pot is needed.

(Two Thingyan Pots welcomed Tha-Gyar-Min, placed at the entrance of the house.)
Among the Buddhist customs, we put a set of flowers and leaves represent seven-day-born, into a vase placed at the foot of the Pagodas or at the front of their household shrines, we wished such good deeds can save all the seven-day-born people around the world, wishing that they will be happy and healthy for the coming year. We prayed our good deeds or the meaning of loving kindness will protect from danger of coronavirus disease to all over the world and can save us from all the dangers even from the natural disasters.