According to custom, villagers from Minhlakyin Village of Minbu Township arrived for the Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival in a fleet of bullock carts on Sunday.
“It has been a tradition passed from generation to generation. Last year, 29 carts from our village left for the pagoda festival. This year, villagers have left on board 48 carts. The villagers reach the pagoda prior to the full moon of Tabaung every year, and make offerings to the statues and images of the Buddha,” said U Maung Win, the administrator of Minhlakyin Village.
The sight of bullock carts travelling in a row attract photographers from other regions and states. Photographers usually come to the pagoda festival to capture the cultural traditions on display. “Photographers from different places come to film the bullock carts on their way to the Mann Shwe Settaw pagoda. This shows the photographers admire the traditions and customs. This, in turn, encourages villagers to preserve traditions from generation to generation. Donors and photographers also make contributions to villagers,” said Ko Zaw Zaw Aung, a local photographer. Minhlakyin Village is 12 miles away from the Shwe Settaw Pagoda. The Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda festival is held every year between February and mid-April (till the Myanmar New Year Day). This year, the festival is packed with pilgrims from across the country. An elephant camp has also been opened for helping pilgrims reach the pagoda.
—Aung Myo Myat
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)