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Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut – October 28, 2023

The Myanmar Full moon of Thadingyut occurs in the seventh month and lasts from the day before the full moon till the day following the full moon, as per the Burmese calendar. This year, it is commemorated from October 28 to 30. There is a three-day Thadingyut Festival, which comes to an end with Thadingyut or ‘Loy Krathong’ also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ (Vassa). The event honors Buddha’s descent from heaven, where had spent three months educating his mother and other heavenly Gods in the sacred ‘Abhidhamma.’ The commemoration marks the completion of the Buddhist fasting month and is celebrated with a lavish Buddhist feast.

History of Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut

After the Thingyan Festival, the Thadingyut Festival, also known as the ‘Festival of Lights,’ is the most important celebration in Myanmar.

As the legend goes, Buddha’s mother passed away just a week after his birth. However, she was given the name ‘Santusita’ when she was reborn as a divinity in the ‘Trayastrimsa Heaven.’ To pay respect to his mother, the Buddha ascended to the Trayastrimsa Heaven and spent three months delivering sermons to Santusita based on the Abhidhamma teachings.

The ascension of the Buddha is venerated on’ Dhammasetkya Day,’ which falls on the full moon of the month ‘Waso.’ This day also marks the beginning of the three-month period of Buddhist Lent, during which monks retire to their respective monasteries. Meditation and study are the primary activities that monks engage in during this period. During Buddhist Lent, getting married is prohibited, and many individuals also abstain from consuming non-vegetarian foods and alcohol. In Myanmar, Lent typically falls during the monsoon season.

It is a traditional belief that Buddha returned to earth on the night of the Thadingyut full moon, which also marks the conclusion of the Buddhist fasting period. Thadingyut is also known as the Festival of Lights because Buddhists light candles in their homes and temples to commemorate the anniversary of Buddha’s return. In the honor of this joyous occasion, towns and villages located throughout Myanmar keep their lights turned on.

Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut timeline

490 B.C.
The Birth

Prince Siddhartha Gautama is born in Lumbini, which is now in Nepal.

455 B.C.
The Enlightenment

Gautama becomes the Buddha following his enlightenment at the age of 35.

400 B.C.
The Death

After spending nearly 45 years preaching throughout northern India, Buddha departs for his heavenly abode.

261 B.C.
Official Religion of India

Emperor Ashoka declares Buddhism to be the official religion of India, allowing Buddhist missionaries to travel throughout Asia, granting monks governmental power, and accepting their teachings.

Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut FAQs

What does Thadingyut mean?

The Buddhist Lent (Vassa), observed by Buddhist monks for the preceding three lunar months, is known as ‘Thadin’ in Myanmar. During this time, they abstain from traveling, as Buddha had commanded them to do.

What are some of the activities to do during Thadingyut?

People in Myanmar adorn pagodas and their homes with electric lights, candles, and lanterns to mark the occasion of the Buddha’s return to earth after his ascent into heaven. During the events, fireworks are also displayed.

In Myanmar, what is the predominant religion?

The majority of the Bamar people, as well as the Shan, Rakhine, Mon, and many other ethnic groups, follow Buddhism as their primary religion.

Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut Activities

  1. Light a candle

    In preparation for the arrival of Buddha after his ascension, the entire nation is illuminated with various colorful lights and beautiful candles. Join the common practice of placing lights along the path.

  2. Attend the street fair

    People swarm the marketplaces and various food vendors along the streets. Traditional outdoor performances and concerts are held throughout this period to mark the occasion. Attending these is a good way to celebrate.

  3. Celebrations and charity

    On the day of the Full Moon of Thadingyut, there are a variety of fundraisers for charitable organizations, as well as musical performances, dancing in the streets, and other types of celebrations and entertainment. Attend the celebrations and donate as you can, on this day.

5 Interesting Facts About Buddha

  1. Enlightenment

    Buddha's enlightenment took place at the Mahabodhi Temple, which is one of several significant places in the Buddha's life.

  2. Theravada Buddhism

    An old-school form of Buddhism known as ‘Theravada,’ which emphasizes Buddha's humanity, is prevalent in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and even India.

  3. Buddha’s first preaching

    The ‘Dhamekh Stupa’ constructed at Sarnath in the fifth century commemorates the Buddha's first preaching.

  4. Stairways

    ‘Sakra-Devanam-Indra’ who is the lord of Trayastrimsa Heaven, descended to the mortal world and commanded three stairways of gold, silver, and ruby, from which Buddha chose the ruby-studded middle.

  5. Return to earth

    Abhidharma day is the day on which Buddha returned to the Earth from heaven.

Why We Love Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut

  1. Forgiveness

    When Buddhist Lent draws to a close, celebrations with music and dancing come in full swing. This is also a moment to offer regards and ask forgiveness for your wrongdoings.

  2. Season of love

    Many couples prefer to tie the knot after the long season of Buddhist Lent, during which no weddings can take place. This means a double celebration for the families.

  3. Emphasizes respect

    In addition, it's a time for children to honor their elders. Parents, teachers, and other elderly relatives are often offered fruits and other gifts by young people as a sign of respect, or ‘Gadaw’ as it is called locally.

Myanmar Full Moon of Thadingyut dates

YearDateDay
2022October 8Saturday
2023October 28Saturday
2024October 16Wednesday
2025October 5Sunday
2026October 25Sunday

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