Merit makers throng pagodas in Yangon on New Year’s Day

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After celebrating the Thingyan festival, people pay a visit to pagodas to welcome in the New Year of ME 1380.  Photo: MNA

To celebrate the end of Myanmar Era (ME) 1379 and the start of 1380, merit makers thronged famous pagodas in Yangon.
The Shwedagon Pagoda trustee organised a donation of fruits, flowers, water, illuminated oil lamps and scented water at the platform of the pagoda at 5 a.m. yesterday. At 5.30 a.m., the pagoda’s Ovadacariya (patron) sayadaws and invited sanghas were provided with breakfast “soon” at the Yaungdawpwint prayer hall. At 6 a.m. in the old Buddha images prayer hall, the audience listened to the recitation of Paritta by the pagoda’s Ovadacariya (patron) sayadaws and then shared merit by pouring water. At 8 a.m. at the Chanthargyi prayer hall in Rahu corner, the 32nd group blood donation ceremony was held. In the Maha Wizaya Pagoda located at the foot of Shwedagon Pagoda, devotees witnessed the sunrays shining directly on the Buddha image inside the pagoda exactly at 8:35 a.m. and 3:25 p.m. on New Year’s Day. This event occurs twice a year only during this time on New Year’s Day.
People keeping the Sabbath, merit makers and food donors were seen flocking to other famous pagodas of Yangon such as Sule Pagoda and Shwebonpwint Pagoda. Some private buses and cars provided free transport to the people.
The reciting of Paritta by sanghas in the wards and streets of Yangon, organised by the locals staying there, was held, while other merit making such as caring for the personal hygiene of the elderly, paying respects to the elders and the Jivitadana donation of releasing animals from harm or captivity was also observed at various locations.


By Yi Yi Myint &
Ohnmar Thant

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