Burmese community celebrates New Year festival
Tuesday 20 April 2010
About 40 guests joined members of the Burmese community on Saipan to celebrate its New Year Festival last Saturday.
Thingyan, more popularly known as the Water Festival, is based on the Buddhist lunar calendar and is celebrated annually from April 13 to 18, with the actual New Year festivity observed on April 17.
Shwe Zin Win, one of the 15 members of the Burmese community on island, said the Water Festival was called such because of the significance of the water in the whole celebration. “The water symbolizes the clearing up of the old year to welcome the new year.”
Besides the water, Burmese nationals also wear something new when they greet the start of the year. “[You want] to start new year with new body, new clothes,” Win added.
This is the first time that Burmese nationals on island celebrated the occasion.
The Water Festival served as an opportunity not only to familiarize guests to the culture of the Burmese but also as a venue to develop camaraderie and create new friendships. “We want to introduce our food, our culture; some people also want to know about our politics,” Win said.
Source : http://www.saipantribune.com