by: Hpone Thant
Soon the black monsoon clouds will clear and the sky will once again be blue. People all over Myanmar will celebrate the end of the Buddhist Lent with many festivities.
Towns and villages all over the country will be gaily decorated with lights: electrical bulbs in the cities but with tradition candles and fire staffs in the outlaying villages. The occasion, according to the Buddhist tradition is to welcome back Lord Buddha back to the Abode of Humans after His sojourn in the Abode of the Celestials beings during the Lent.
According to our beliefs, Lord Buddha descended back to the Abode of the Humans by a golden stairs case, with other Celestials flanking him on both sides, the silver and ruby staircases.
And humans on earth welcome Him with joy.
There will be street performances at many places during the evening; food stalls selling local delicacies as well as other stalls offering a variety of goods, both locally manufactured or even imported. Whole streets will be lighted up and people jostle to get the best standing place to see their favourite entertainment personalities perform.
During daytime, however, most pagodas and monasteries are crowded with devotees offering food to the monks and listening to the Holy Sermons on this auspicious day.
But for the children it is the most important time. They get to go around to their grandparents or other seniors in their family with trays of presents and pay respect to them. In return they are given back pocket money by the elders, which makes them immensely happy.
However, time flies. The days when we rush to our grandparents to pay our respects and receive pocket money had gone by, never to return. Now we wait to receive and enjoy the respects given to us by our grandchildren. Za Yar (old age) had finally caught up with us.