When Padauk Blossoms Bloom

When Padauk Blossoms Bloom

The Padauk Blossoms at Thingyan

By: Harry Hpone Thant

petauk flowerSoon it will be Thingyan again. Most people know Thingyan as water festival time, the weather is unbearably very hot and dusty and everybody who ventures out onto the road is greeted with a bucket of water over his head or ambushed by jets of water from children lucking by. Actually, Thingyan is the Myanmar New Year and celebrated all over the country.

It is also the time for April showers to make the Padauk blossoms bloom and perfume the air with their delicate scent. The Padauk flower usually blooms at April when Myanmar celebrates their Newyear Water festival. Usually, yellow bright flower blooms all around Myanmar with very sweet smell and people’s offers to Buddha images and women also attached that yellow bright flower to their hair. Pterocarpus Macrocarpus (Burma Padauk Pan) is a species of Pterocarpus native to southeastern Asia in northeastern India, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to popular belief Thagya Min (King of the Celestials) will arrive at the Abode of the Humans for the duration of the Thingyan on April 14 at the time determined by the astrologers. And every household will have a small pot with Eugenia leaves and flowers set out to welcome him. This pot is left there until he returns back to his abode at the end of Thingyan (i.e. April 16).

The Bamar people have their own version of the celebrations while the Gon Shans of Kyaing Tong, in the Eastern Shan State has their own rituals and also the Mons of southern Myanmar. The Rakhine cousins on the western seaboard also celebrate Thingyan their own way. But whatever the diversity of rituals, the essence is the same: it is to say farewell to the old and welcome in the New Year. And all have good fun during this time.

We can trace back the Thigyan traditions back to the Bagan era, more than 2000 years ago. A legend tells us that King Narathihapati of the Bagan Dynasty teased one of his lesser queens, Saw Lon, by drenching her with a bucketful of water. Saw Lon took this as an insult, to humiliate her in front of the other ladies of the court. This led to a conspiracy to kill the King and she was executed for her act when discovered. But this is just one sad story in an otherwise happy occasion. Mostly Thingyan rivalries are fun and joy.

Myanmar people mark Thingyan in a variety of ways. For the young it is the time to go around town and have fun. They may have organized themselves into erecting water -throwing pandal or hire a vehicle to visit these places. The young kids stand around with water guns and wait for people to shoot at them.

Be extra good, the young children are cautioned as the Thagya Min is in town and he is making two different lists: one on gold sheets for the good and another on dog leather for the naughty.


Article Source: courtesy of www.enchantingmyanmar.com

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