The Kason Festival is one of the most important festivals in the religious life of Myanmar. It is a “should-not-be-miss” festival for people who are interested in Burmese culture, especially Buddhist people. Full Moon Day of Kason is a great chance to discover the unique spiritual culture in this beautiful country.
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Full Moon Day of Kason Festival is held in the month of Kason, the second month of the traditional Myanmar Calendar and usually falls in May. It is the season when water in all ponds, lakes, and creeks are at their lowest level. During the month of Kason, the length of the day is longer, while the night is shorter and all Sagar flowers bloom. The festival is believed to be the day on which Gotama Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and passed away. Kason is popularly known as the water-pouring month or Vesak and is celebrated in countries where Buddhism is widely practised, such as India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
When in Myanmar: Some famous pagodas to visit during the Kason festival are Shwedagon, Sule, Botahtaung, Chauktatgyi, Maha Wizaya, and Kabar Aye.
Main activities & meaning of the Kason Festival
Visiting the temple in this festival, you will see the long lines of people carry lots of water, Eugenia springs, and flowers. People of all ages in Myanmar go to the pagoda & pour water at the Maha-Bodhi tree. Most of them hold the pots before the forehead, pray and pour the water into the tree. They believe doing that will help the tree survive during the hottest month of the year and prolong Buddhism into the future. They also pour holly water onto the Buddha statues as an expression of piety and respect to the Buddha, bless for goodwill, good luck.
pour water at the Maha Bodhi tree at Kason Festival
The next part of this festival is the chanting of Paritta verses, which is a brief explanation of the rites and recitation of poems praising the Lord Buddha. Buddhists in Myanmar also go to monasteries and give donations to the monks, meditation, and do the good things. Some release fish to the lake and release the birds in pagodas for doing merits for long life living. Most people donate food and things to monks and poor people. In big cities like Yangon, people also treat foods such as Shwe Yin Aye, juice, fried noodle, snacks for everyone. In small cities and villages, all the villagers go to the pagoda and pour the water onto the Banyan tree and they perform dance, entertainment, and food donations.
Fullmoon day of Kayson festival
Take a pot of water and pour it into the Mahaf-Bodhi tree if you are in one of the pagodas in Myanmar during the festival. It will bring you good luck during the year. Do you believe in that? Let try and see…
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Image Source: Internet