No sooner has it uttered the first words in life, “U-We, U-We”, than a newborn child of Myanmar inevitably comes to correspond with astrology. “After the questions ‘male or female’, the question ‘what-day-born’ used to follow. Although it had nothing to do with the teaching of Lord Buddha, astrology takes prominent part in Myanmar way of life. It is believed that the names of the week are directly related with planets in the solar system and called after the respective planet. The planet in ascendency at the time of the birth influences a person’s whole life.
After finding out on what day the baby was born, an elderly person who has fairly sufficient knowledge in astrology will give it name in accordance with the respective day. In this aspect, different letters of the alphabet have direct connections with the planets. For example, the first five letters of Myanmar Alphabet Ka (u), Kha (c), Ga (*), Gha (C), Nga (i) represents Monday planet (Lunar). Therefore, the name of the Monday-born must start with the above-mentioned letters in spelling, Kyaw, Khin, Ngwe and so on. Most of the names that follow the prefix are chosen in line with astrological calculation. As Monday and Wednesday are friendly pairs, the prefix is usually followed the letters ‘Ya (,), Ra (&), La (v), Wa (0)’ belonging to the Wednesday. However, other letters can follow it in accordance with particular astrological calculation for the baby. In spite of becoming less popular among people of these days. People in the country still adhere to this way of giving names.
It is also believed that the day on which the baby was born has somewhat influence on its character and behaviour. For example, a Friday-born is supposed to be talkative and Saturday-born has strong and forceful mind and so on.
Moreover, most of the fortune-telling for the baby is usually done in accordance with the day on which it was born.
Days of the week are divided into two sets of the pair; the friendly and the hostile. The friendly and the hostile pairs are further divided into four groups respectively: inner friendly, outer friendly and inner hostile, outer hostiles.
They are all noted in pieces of rhymes the inner friendly pairs of days are
Aung-Pa, Ku-lar, Swe-Thar, Taw-Yin (atmify ukvm; aqGom; awmf&if;) Sun and Thurs, Mon and Wed, Tue and Fri, Sat and Wed,
The outer friendly pair of days are
Ut-Thar, Sein-Pan, Dhan-Hla, Ko-Sha (Oómpdefyef; ‘ef;vSudk&Sm) Sun and Fri, Tue and Thurs, Sat and Wed, Mon and Wed.
There are sets of rhymes that predict on the baby’s future. For example,
“Thar U Thauk-kyar Padesar” (om;OD;aomMum ya’om) Friday-born first son will bring plenty of wealth. “Thar U Sa Ne, Mee Lo Hmwe” (om;OD;pae rD;vdkarT) means that Saturday-born first son will bring a lot of trouble to his parents. So, the father of Saturday-born first son has to make a leap over it, carrying a sword on his shoulder to evade the evils. On the other hands, it is believed that Saturday-born latest son will make his parents more prosperous “Sa ne Thar Hnaung Miba Kaung” (paeom;aESmif; rdbaumif;)
Furthermore, days of the birth has greater influence on choosing the partner of life. Most of Myanmar girls in olden days did not make their decisions in choosing their life-partners recklessly without knowing his day of birth. A girl used to choose a youngman who was born on one of her friendly days. Rarely did she choose a youth born on any of her hostile day because if she did so, it was believed her life will be in short duration or she will be in trouble for the rest of life. She would be in poverty. Only the combination of friendly days could bring the couple happiness, long life and prosperity.
Now-a-days, some of Myanmar still keep the custom of doing usual bathing or shampooing in accordance with rhymes of astrological concepts such as,
“Thar Hla Shwe-taung Ye Ko Shaung” (om;vSa&Tawmif a&udka&Smif) meaning “No son shall do bathing on Friday, Wednesday and Saturday”. On the other hand, the days on which usual bathing should be done as also appointed as “Aung San Phyo Ye Choe Yet” (atmifpHNzdK; a&csKd;&uf) meaning “Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday are the most suitable for bathing”.
There are another two kinds of days, viz, lucky days or kingly days (Yetyazar) and unluckdays (Pyatsada) on which whether something should be done or not depends. These days are not constant but alternate in each month.
The following table shows Yetyazar (Kingly days or Luck days) and Pyatsadar (Unlucky days) in each month of Myanmar calendar;
The Friendly pairs of days are Ut-Tha (Sun, Fri), Sein-Pan (Tue-Thurs), Dhan Hla (Sat-Wed), Ko-Sha (Mon-Wed). (Oómpdefyef; ‘ef;vSudk&Sm)
The hostile pairs of days are Dham-mar (Sat-Thurs), Thaw-Ka (Fir-Mon), Inn-Wa (Sun-Wed), Yar-zar (Wed-Tue). (“r®aomu tif;0&mZm)
Most of Myanmar people have profound belief that something which has been done on unlucky days would certainly meet with hardships or obstacles or even failure and only those which have been done on Lucky days would be successful.
The following is a story used to be told by Upper Myanmar People humorously connecting with Lucky days and Unlucky days.
Once upon a time, two monks had an assignment to travel a long journey by boat. One of the monks together with his disciples started his journey on one of the unlucky days without paying heed to any suggestion not to go. But the second monk chose the next day being a lucky day to start his journey. As the boatmen of the first monk rowed so slowly that the boat conveying the second monk and his disciple caught up with them in a short time. While the two boats were travelling along side by side in the river, a storm broke out and huge waves arose. Due to the storm and the waves both of the boats turned up-side-down and so the two monk and their disciples had to swim across the river.
Then one disciple of the monks who had started on Unlucky day reproached his master for travelling on Unlucky day. Then the monk replied, “Well, if I met the mishap as I travelled on unlucky day, then why did the monk travelling on lucky day face with the same mishap?” Then his disciple fell dumb as he had found no answer to give.
Sabbe Sattā Kamma Sa Kā