Thingyan (Burmese New Year): The Thingyan is the Party de l 'water du new Year Burmese.
In Burmese သင်္ကြန်, θɪ́ɴdʑàɴ; Arakanese, θɔ́ɴkràɴ; from pali sankanta, meaning transit of the Sun, from the constellation of Pisces to that of Aries.
It usually takes place in mid-April (The month of Tagu in the calendar traditional Burmese). Celebrated for four or five days, it culminates on new year's day. at theorigin, its dates were calculated according to the lunisolar calendar traditional Burmese, but they are now fixed from 13 to 16 April the Gregorian calendar; they often coincide with those of Easter.
Thingyan is the most important holiday period in Burma, marking the end of the school year and the start of summer holidays.summer. THE'sprinkler of water under all its forms is one élément essential, during the first four days. In most regions, however, she only really begins the second. Thingyan is comparable to others holidays of the new year of regions of Theravada Buddhism in South East Asia, such as the Lao New Year, Chaul Chhnam au Cambodia, Aluth Avurudu au Sri Lanka and Songkran in Thailand.
Legend : Thingyan finds his origin in the version Buddhist from a Hindu myth. The king of the Brahmas, Arsi, had lost a bet against the king of the Devas, Śakra (Thagya Min): the latter beheaded Arsi, as agreed, but an elephant's head was put on his body, which then became Ganesh. The severed head was so powerful that if it had been thrown into the sea, this would have been dried up, on the earth, it would have been calcined, in the air, the sky would have been on fire. Sakra therefore ordered that this head be transported by a devi, different each année. The new année corresponds to the moment when the head changes guardian.
Thingyan Vigil: On the eve of Thingyan, the premier jour of the Party, named a-kyo nei (အကြိုနေ့), is the beginning of multiple religious activities. Buddhists should observe the Eight Precepts, more than the usual Five Precepts, including taking only one meal, before noon. Thingyan is a period of uposatha, comparable au fast Christians. alms and offerings are deposited in front of the monks in their monasteries, and in front of the statues of Buddha a coconut green in peduncle intact, surrounded de diets de bananas green (ငှက်ပျောပွဲအုန်းပွဲ, nga pyaw pwè oun pwè) and of boughs of thabyay or jamblon (botanical name: Syzygium cumini), while one pours on their head of thewater perfumed. In the monarchical era, we washed ceremoniously the hair of kings with thewater pure Gaungsay Kyun (literally: Head Washing Island), a small outcrop of an island in the Gulf of Martaban near Moulmein.
La Party really starts at night fallen, with music, songs and dances, pranks and general merriment in anticipation of the Party de l 'water. In each neighborhood there are temporary platforms or stages, wood, bamboo et paper chewed up decorated, bearing festive names. Local groups of young girls, who had been rehearsing for weeks, perform in brilliant dance and song performances colorful. They wear fragrant thanaka on their faces and flowers padauk yolks in the hair. Padauk (Botanical name: Pterocarpus macrocarpus) blooms every année during Thingyan and its flower is nicknamed the "Thingyan flower".
Crowds of participants on foot, bicycle, car or motorbike circle these platforms (called mandate), some making their own music, most of the women wearing thanaka and padauk flowers. Floats (or rafts) gaily decorated and illuminated, carry orchestras and dozens of young men; they stop in front of each mandate to exchange songs with the young girls, classics of Thingyan that everyone knows and others written for the occasion, as well as to do than gyat (similar to rap, with only one reciter supported by the voices of others, which criticizes all that is wrong with the country, consumerism, AIDS, corruption, incapable politicians, etc.). It is indeed a time of general relaxation, an important outlet for stress and discontent.
Despite thedrunkenness, disputes and inevitable accidents, theambiance is rather good-natured and noisy gaiety.
The water festival: The next day, a-kya nei (အကျနေ့) is the day when the nat Thagyamin (Śakra or Indra) descends from the ciel on lands. A cannon (Thingyan a-hmyauk) is fired and the gens go out with containers full bywater and boughs of thabyay, to spread thewater on the Salt with a prayer. A prophecy of new Year (သင်္ကြန်စာ Thingyan sa) is announced by the Brahmans (ponna), based on the animal that Thagya Min rides during his descent to the Earth and on what he carries in his hand. We tell the children and that if they have been nice Thagya Min will put their name in a guest book, but if they have been naughty he will go in a dog book.
In most areas, the actual sprinkling does not begin until a-kya nei. Traditionally, we spread thewater perfumed of a bowl ofmoney with an branch of thabyay (ham), a practice that continues in the regions rural. It is a question of metaphorically “washing away” the sins of each person before the following year. In the cities documents as Rangoon, in addition, garden hoses, huge plastic syringes are used bamboo. as metal or plastic, guns water and any other material which can be brought out of thewater, even bombs water and fire hoses! It is the most hot de l 'année and most appreciate a good shower. Only monks and pregnant women should not be watered. some young men can be caught by the women, who daub the figure of soot. The young girls perched on the mandates exchange hundreds of liters of water with the boys passing on their floats. Many participants wear towels to prevent thewater to get into their ears and out of modesty, their light summer clothes ending up completely soaked. Pranksters usewater ice to water their victims along the way.
The pwè shows given by puppeteers, orchestras, dance troupes, actors, stars movies and pop singers are common.
During this period, the Burmese government lifts restrictions on gatherings. In the old capital Rangoon, crowds can gather on Kadawgyi Pet and Kabaraye Roads. We install temporary watering stations, known under the name of pandals, which also serve as a ballroom.
Many are sponsored by notables and businesses
The third and fourth days: The third jour is called a-kyat nei, and some years it is doubled by a jour additional. The fourth jour is named a-tet nei (အတက်နေ့): it is the one where Thagya Min returns to the ciel, latest jour of the Party de l 'water. Some throwwater late in the day with an excuse like, "Thagya Min has left his pipe and is coming back for it. » During this period of leave, there is a long traditional, that of mount lone yeibaw (မုန့်လုံးရေပေါ်), sticky rice balls stuffed with jaggery sugar (palm sugar) that we throw in boiling water and serve as soon as they go back to the surface, which gives them their name. All those who help confection are welcome, but beware of joker Thu replaces le sucre by pimento !
Mount let saung (မုန့်လက်ဆောင်း) is another more smoothly. of Thingyan: parts de sticky rice with seeds de sesame grillées in syrup de jaggery sugar and coconut milk. Both are service with some coconut grated.
In big cities as Rangoon et Mandalay Hill, , the Arakanese celebrate Thingyan according to their own traditions. THE'water is paid on the participants from a canoe (လောင်းလှေ, laung hlei) and we sert le mohinga (Soupe de rice) ofArakan.
New Year's Day: The next day is new Year's Day (နှစ်ဆန်းတစ်ရက်နေ့, hnit hsan ta yet nei). This is the time to visit the elders and pay homage to them through the gadaw (or shihko), with a offering traditional water in a can en terracotta and shampoo.
Young people often shampoo traditional to their elders, with berries byAcacia rugata and bark. Many make New Year's resolutions, usually to improve their conduct and do meritorious deeds for their karma. Releasing fish (ငါးလွှတ်ပွဲ, nga hlut pwè) is another traditional observed that day; fish scavenged from drying lakes and rivers (Thingyan falls in the middle of the dry season) are sheltered in large pots of glazed earth to be released into larger lakes and rivers with a prayer and a vow saying "I release you once, you release me ten times".
People also donate food called satuditha (စတုဒီသာ) (*). They typically offer food to participants in célébrations of new year.
Thingyan (a-hka dwin) is also a time favorite for the shinbyu, the ceremony opening the boys' novitiate in Theravada Buddhism, a period they spend among the monks imbibing the teachings of the Buddha, the Dharma.
This is a rite passage comparable to the ceremony of the majority in other religions.
(*) Satuditha is a traditional Burmese festival and merit-making activity that holds an important place in Burmese culture, reinforcing the importance of generosity and almsgiving as a Burmese cultural norm.