Pyay Shwesandaw Pagoda to host Sesbania stalk fire offering and Htamane-making festival


The annual Sesbania stalk fire offering ceremony and Htamane-marking competition will be held on a grand scale at the Shwesandaw Pagoda in Pyay, Bago Region, according to U Aung Soe, a member of the Pagoda’s Board of Trustees.
The plant, locally known as Sesbania, is used as firewood to make a fire in a temporary brick tank to offer warmth dedicated to the Lord Buddha. Locals believe the Sesbania stalk fire offering gives them wisdom.
“The 100th Sesbania stalk fire offering ceremony and the 22nd Htamane-making competition of Pyay Shwesandaw Pagoda will take place on 23 February. The 22nd Htamane-making competition will occur at the Mahabawdi terrase of the pagoda at 7 am on 23 February. At 5 am on 24 February (the full moon day), the 100th Sesbania stalk fire offering ceremony — a unique traditional ritual that happens in the morning of the full moon day of Tabodwe in Myanmar colander and found only in Pyay Township — will be held with the pilgrims each bringing their share of Sesbania stalk. The pilgrims offering fire to the Buddha using aromatic woods for warmness in the winter season will be provided with Htamane. Sesbania stalk fire offering is more popular among local students as they believe the practice can give them great wisdom,” said U Aung Soe.
It is a kind of shrub that is primarily found in the wetlands that surround Pyay Township. The devotees collect the Sesbania plants by cutting, peeling, and sun-drying it about one month before the offering festival. The plants are usually sold along the street near Shwesandaw Pagoda before the offering festival starts. — ASH/MKKS

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