December 14, 2016

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Buddhists flock to pagodas for Thadingyut festival

People light candles at pagodas across the country, celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent, or the end of the Buddhist rain retreat. Kyetagon Theravada, a local religious group comprising employees of a garment factory and residents of Bago Region, located about 50 miles northwest of Yangon, lit 1,000 candles at the Kyaikpun Four Buddha Images in Bago on Wednesday to welcome the onset of winter, or the start of the festival of lights. Photo: Aye Min Soe
People light candles at pagodas across the country, celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent, or the end of the Buddhist rain retreat. Kyetagon Theravada, a local religious group comprising employees of a garment factory and residents of Bago Region, located about 50 miles northwest of Yangon, lit 1,000 candles at the Kyaikpun Four Buddha Images in Bago on Wednesday to welcome the onset of winter, or the start of the festival of lights. Photo: Aye Min Soe

Buddhists thronged to famous pagodas across the country yesterday to observe the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut and to perform meritorious rituals.
Religious ceremonies were held under the auspices of senior monks, with union ministers and departmental officials donating provisions and gifts to the monks.
At the Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw, a congregation led by union ministers U Thein Nyunt and U Soe Win heard a sermon on Abhidhamma from state-level Sayadaw Abhidhaja MaharathaguruBhaddanta Kavisara.
In the evening, Buddhist devotees lit 9,000 oil lamps at the pagoda. Other famous pagodas and houses were decorated with multi-coloured light bulbs and oil lamps in Lewe and Tatkon townships of Nay Pyi Taw Council Area.
Local people took relaxation at Nay Pyi Taw Thatta Thattaha Budh Gaya, Water Fountain Garden, Nay Pyi Taw Zoological Gardens, Safri Park, National Races Village and hot-springs.
In Yangon, Buddhist followers packed into the world-known Shwedagon Pagoda compound to observe the auspicious day by performing merit-making rituals. Members of the public donated charity and food to visitors. Well-wishers donated meals to the people at religious buildings in townships of Yangon.
In Mandalay Region, famous pagodas such as Shwekyeemyin, Sacred Tooth Relic (Mandalay), Maha Muni Buddha Image and Aungdawmu pagodas were crowded with Buddhist people, who placed flowers, fruit, water, oil lamps and gold leaf before images of the Buddha. Many congregants chanted religious verses. In the evening, various buildings in Mandalay City were illuminated with multi-coloured lightings.—Myanmar News Agency/Tin Maung/Khin Maung Htwe/Win Win Maw; Photo: Zaw Min Latt

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