Yangon, 13 April — The Thingyan Festival kicked off Monday in Yangon with water-throwing pandals opening to revelers across the city.
Yangon Region Chief Minister U Myint Swe unveiled the pandal of the government located on Yangon-Pyay Road, while Chairman of Yangon City Development Committee U Hla Myint opened the YCDC pandal at City Hall, followed by performances by dancing and cultural troupes and celebrities.
The YCDC has allowed the construction of more than 200 pandals of varying sizes to celebrate the traditional Myanmar New Year Water Festival in Yangon.
Big water-throwing pandals on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road and Kandawgyi Road have drawn throngs of revelers. The Rakhine community in Yangon began celebrating the water festival in its own traditional style at the Thuwunna Youth Sports Training Ground in Yangon, setting a new record with 18 pandals, 45 Rakhine cuisine restaurants and souvenir shops.
Meanwhile, city dwellers began charity food donations in their respective wards to mark the New Year Water Festival.
The festival lasts four days and will end on Thursday, one day ahead of Myanmar’s traditional New Year’s Day on Friday.
Bus fares have increased up to two to three fold in Yangon during the festival despite local authorities warning bus operators against such price gouging.
The Yangon Region All-Bus Lines Control Committee has already announced that 1,694 buses will operate in Yangon during the festival, inviting complaints from people for fare over-charging by conductors.GNLM