Annual Tartet festival Taungyoe ethnic people celebrated across southern Shan State

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Taungyoe ethnic people in processing of the Tartet festival.

The Taungyoe ethnic community is currently hosting the traditional Tartet festival in Kalaw, Pindaya, and Pinlaung townships of Shan State (South), as reported by Sai Aye Zan, a member of the central working committee of the Taungyoe Literary and Culture Association based in Pindaya Township.
This annual festival takes place in various Taungyoe settlements, commencing on the 1st Waning of Tagu and concluding on the 1st Waning of Kason, typically falling within the final weeks of April and May.
Sai Aye Zan mentioned, “This year’s festival commenced on 24 April and will extend to Aungban, Taunggyi, Nyaungshwe, Panglong, and Yaksawk townships”.
During the festivities, families gather meals, betel, gold foils, sweets, and fruits installed a structure and offer it to the village monastery. Meanwhile, young men carry fireballs and dance while the donations are paraded around.
In a traditional courtship ritual, these young men may approach girls from the audience, whom they admire, asking for their names, addresses, and permission to visit. If the girls agree, they demonstrate their acceptance by throwing roasted beans at the young men. Hence, the Tartet festival provides an opportunity for young people to seek potential partners.
Even today, girls, especially those from Pindaya, where the majority of the population is Taungyoe, continue the tradition of bringing beans when they attend the festival.
The Taungyoe community resides in Hsihseng, Pinlaung, Kalaw, Pindaya, Nyaungshwe, Yaksawk, Namhsam, and Panglong townships. — ASH/NT

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