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New Year Traditions

    Burmese New Year

    In Burma there is a three day New Year festival called Maha Thingyan, which is celebrated with prayers, fasting and fun. During the festivities, buildings and temples are washed, and people throw water over each other. This is partly to welcome the heavy rains of the coming monsoon season.

    The Burmese New Year festival is held to celebrate the New Year, by performing meritorious deeds and spraying one another with Thingyan water.

    The Burmese New Year, which is based on the Fixed Zodiac system, falls on or around April 16. Thingyan means change. Cula thingyan (or small change) occurs every month. Maha thingyan (or big change) occurs once a year. The Burmese consider it to occur in Meiktha on or around April 13 and lasting three or four days.

    Thingyan is the traditional Burmese New Year's festival. It lasts for three days and during that time everyone must get wet in order to welcome in the New Year. The Burmese believe that water acts as a soul purifier. Getting wet means that one can start the New Year with a cleansed soul.

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