Shwe Kyin Oil Lamp Light Festival

Month:   October
Visited: 3841 Time

      One of the most famous light festivals in Myanmar is the Shwe Kyin Oil Lamp Festival held in Shwe Kyin Township, Bago Region, on the first day following the full moon of Thadingyut. One specific characteristic of this festival is the offering of hsundawgyi (a mixture of rice, onions, potatos, ginger and garlic) to the Buddha and the Sangha.

      On festival day, a competition of decorated boats is held along the river at Shwe Kyin. At sunset, a beautifully decorated Karaweik barge carrying images of the Buddha and the revered monk Ashin Uppa Gutta protects those who earn their livelihoods from the river. Fireworks are lit, and thousands of lotus-shaped oil lamps are set afloat in the river. During the lead-up to the festival, the women of Shwe Kyin make 50,000 of these oil lamps in order to gain merit. The sight of the delightful array of lights and their reflection on the surface of the water brings forth peace and the solemnity of devotion to every heart.

      After the people pay obeisance, the image of Ashin Uppa Gutta is moved from the barge onto a bamboo raft and set adrift. The event is known among people across the nation as Shwe Kyin Mee Mhyaw Pwe, the Festival of Setting Lights Adrift.