Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taungpyone Nat Festival in Year 2007

The onset of monsoon season makes June and July relatively quiet months in Myanmar. There are, however, various smaller Buddhist festivals to be enjoyed.

Taungpyone Nat or Spirit Festival is a popular five days festival held in Taungpyone near Mandalay. This year 2007, it was held from 23-Aug to 28-Aug and 26 & 27 was crowded most. Today is end of this festival. It was successfully and happily finished.

According to tradition, Nats are spirits that must be appeared or they will wreak havoc in peoples’ lives. The two Nat Brothers honored during Taungpyone Nat belong to the 37 well- known Myanmar Nats. The story of the two Nat Brothers originated during the rule of King Anawrahta, when it was the duty of every person in the kingdom to contribute a brick and a handful of sand for the construction of a pagoda. The brothers failed to contribute their share and orders came from the king for them to be mildly punished. Unfortunately, the Nat Brothers were accidentally killed. The King was remorseful and built a big Nat (spirit) shrine by the side of the Pagoda honoring the two brothers. The homage-paying festival is now held annually to appear the spirits as it is believed that the Nat Brothers can fulfill your wishes, protect you from ill-fate and danger, and bring good luck, prosperity and progress.

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