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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rakhine Traditional Festivals in the month of Kason

Yambye where most Rakhine nationals reside in situated in Rakhine State, the western part of Myanmar. Since yore, Rakhine nationals have been living under the religion of Buddhism, and it can be seen that their beliefs, traditions, language and customs are based on the Buddhism.

The Full moon Day of Kason, is significant for Buddhists, and it is also called the “Buddha Day”.

Kason Full moon Day is an auspicious day for Rakhine ladies living in Yambye Township of Rakhine State as they do meritorious deeds on that day.

Since, in the early morning of Kason Full moon Day, Buddhists offer lights, flowers, water and fruits to the Buddha images at their residences and to meritorious deeds.

The scene of people going together to the monasteries where Buddhist monks reside to offer Hsoon is very auspicious and compatible with the morning time.

Moreover, you can also see in some communities, the scene of offering Hsoon to Sanghas by towns elders and the people of young and old alike.

After offering Hsoon to the members of Sangha at the monasteries, they also perform sundry tasks at pagodas and stupas as much as they can.

In the month of Kason, meritorious deeds concerning with the religion are performed in Yambye.

In Myanmar, yellow champak flowers bloom in the month of Kason, and its significant seasonal festival is “The Festival of pouring water on Bo trees”. Kason is the second month among the twelve months of Myanmar calendar, and it usually falls during the mod-April and mid-May. Myanmar Buddhists revere the Bo trees as the Buddha’s utensils since the Buddha to be gained enlightenments at the foot of the Maha Bodhi Tree. So, Buddhists take the saplings from the original Bo tree, grow them in their respective regions and pour water on them on Kason Fullmoon Day. On the other hand, Buddhists commemorate this festival with the intention to prevent the sacred Bo trees from withering due to intense heat of Kason.

As the commemoration of Buddha Day, Rakhine ladies pour water on the Bo trees in the vicinity of pagodas, dedicating to the Lord Buddha in the afternoon of Kason Fullmoon Day.

In the evenings, they pay homage to the pagodas in the vicinity of their town, and share their merits to all beings by ringing bells. In this way, they spend a day of their life-span with peace and serenity.

In Yambye Township, during Kason, people do meritorious deeds as well as they hold their traditional competition called “Kyin”.

It is one of the Rakhine traditional sports which mainly based on physical ability to uplift the happiness and physical prowess. It’s a kind of martial art. The skill of wrestling and making one’s rival fall on to the ground while avoiding hid attack is called “Kyin”.

“Kyin” players take a wide space under a shady tree and the audiences watch around them.

Rakhine nationals love “Kyin” martial art and young and old alike of any gender enjoy it interestingly.

Rakhine people usually hold regatta festivals in Kason when their farm-works are recessed. As the boat races are held along the creeks in the vicinity of the towns and villages, the spectators cheer then with songs and dances at the pandals built along the creeks.

You can see Yambye townsfolk celebrate their annual traditional boat race happily. It’s their precious custom that they preserve their traditional regatta festival successively.

Holding traditional festivals in Kason in Yambye Township, Rakhine State is preserving the traditional seasonal festival of Rakhine nationals. Furthermore, celebrating traditional and religious festivals of Myanmar nationals is the sign of peace and tranquility prevailed in their respective regions.

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