January 18, 2018

Welcome to the Festival of 66th Anniversary Kayah State Day!

  • By Maung Tin Hlaing
    [Hotel & Tourism]

    Taung Kwe Pagoda in Loikaw, Kayah State.  Photo: Supplied

    The festival marking the 66th anniversary Kayah State Day to be held from 10th January to 19th January in 2018 for 10 days at the Kandarawady grounds at Loikaw will include myriads of entertainment shows—dancing contests of traditional culture, stage shows presented by famous vocalists, Myanmar Anyeint and Zat show performances, Kandarawady Beauty Contest, bike-riding competition, mini-marathon and soccer matches, departmental and civilian exhibition rooms, Thai Emporium, sale rooms and 21 kinds of sport contests.
    On Kayah State Days held annually, every Kayah national will remember the Panglong Conference held in February, 1947 because Panglong Agreement, a result of the national unity, was successfully singed on this auspicious day.

66th anniversary of Kayah State Day
At 9 am on Tuesday, 15th January 1952, that is, 4th Waning of Pyatho 1313 ME, “Namakarana” festival was held at Loikaw, Kayah State, now reaching 66th anniversary Kayah State Day on 15th January 2018 to come. That day will be resoundingly observed as the auspicious occasion.
Looking back into the past history, leaders from Kayah State took part in the struggles against the British Imperialists for the nationwide liberation including the hilly regions where national ethnic people lived, under the leadership of our national leader, Bogyoke Aung San.

Kayah State Leaders
Due to the strenous efforts, great unity and bravery of Kayah State leaders, local population and Tatmadaw-men Kayah State Day was successfully celebrated. Minister Sao Wunna, Saw Phyar Sao Ngai Htoo, Maha Tharay Sithu U Sein, Saw Phyar Sao Lawi, Thaing Bahan, Thiri Byanchi U Aye Mya Lay, Wunna Kyaw Htin Captain Than Tin, Sithu U Myat Soe, U Bu Rei, U Lwi Zi, Thiha Bala Boh Byan Thu were leaders of Kayah State.
Leaders and local populace exerted concerted efforts days and nights for the development of their State, making a solemn vow to consolidate and develop Kayah State and conserve Kayah national race and cultures. As committed according to their vows, they have been performing the tasks for Kayah State development
until now.

Pagodas in Kayah
Kayah State is the one with beautiful scenic views and considerable developments. It is accessible to anywhere in the country. Loikaw, Kandarawady—Land of the Mt Silver Kayah State’s city is small but it is of great beauty. Once in the past, it was a mountain resort camp, where Buddhism flourished greatly. It abounds with monasteries, pagodas, stupas and many religious and cultural heritages. Mingalar Thiri Taungwe Pagoda and Shwe Taung Pagoda are excellent symbols of Kayah State and religious edifices of great glamour. Situated in the middle of mountains surrounding as great walls, mosaic view of the town can be seen from the top of the mountain “Taungwe Pagoda.” There seems to be an element of hyperbole in such a claim that it is worth imitating to see pleasant views, neat and tidy roads and systematically built houses.

State famous for its legend, “Return of Dwemenaw to the Land of Mt Silver”
Loikaw, a small town on the hilly region situated at 2950 feet above the sea level has the natural water-fall and lakes. Natural lakes located at 14 miles far from south of Loikaw are believed to be the ones in the legend of Dwemenaw and her sisters. Dwemenaw is said to be the youngest of seven daughters of the King of the Land of the Mt Silver. According to the legend they played swimming in the lakes.
As for the travellers, they can visit to study Biluchaung Hydro Power Plant supplying electricity power to many regions of the country situated in Lawpita mountain resort camp. The region has clean and sufficient water resources which come from Biluchaung flowing from Inlay Lake in Shan State, Ngwe-taung Dam, Great Pe-khon Lake on the bordering area of Shan and Kayah States, all the year long. Accordingly, Loikaw has no problems as regards the acquisition of water, likewise other hilly regions.
Famous Kayah Orchids and a whole slew of flowers of variety make Kayah more beautiful. Living on the hilly region, Kayah nationals are healthy. On arrival at Kayah State we can see simple and honest Kayah nationals and their lovely cultures and traditions. Transportation also greatly developed. It is easily accessible by roads, trains and plane from any places across the nation all the year around, hence the convenience for trade to easily flow.

Defend from internal and external destructive elements
Kayah leaders who were worth imitating devoted themselves for the development of their region, sacrificing their lives if needed. They exerted concerted efforts to fight against not only the insurgents in the land but also external forces of aggression at 2 am on 8th February 1953, for the sovereignty of their state.

Loikaw City
The town was built with systematic arrangement under the leadership of the learned U Thiri in 1200 ME, knowing that it was geographically situated in the main place. Naming after the founder of the town U Thiri, it was initially named “Thiritaw alias Thiridaw,” meant for the town established by U Thiri. Afterward, at the time when Shan nationals came to settle down there it was called “Loikhaw,” naming after the mountain situated separated. Here, Loi means the mountain in Shan language, with Khaw meaning “in separation.” When time went past, Loikhaw changed into Loikaw.

State of natural resources
Teak from Kayah State is a famous product. Lead, granite, tin, tungsten, antimony and iron are minerals produces in Kayah State, earning foreign exchanges for the national economic development. And Biluchaung Hydro Power Plant fulfilled the electricity need of the nation.

Ceremonial bronze drums and Ngwetaung Bags
Kayah nationals are patriots, admiring their traditions and customs. They always conserve their ancestral heritages. They are ready and willing to perform for the development of their State and their own race. They tend to treat guests with great hospitality. Musical instruments of “Pharsi—ceremonial bronze drums” highly valued by Kayah nationals and famous “Ngwetaung Bags” are the regional products. According to Kayah nationals, Kayah became famous for their place where stars of good fortune assemble.
We should pay a visit to Kayah State overwhelmed with beauties and developments, where 66th anniversary of Kayah State Day festival will be resoundingly held.

(Translated by Khin Maung Oo)

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