The Tazaungdaing Festival (Festival of Lights) is celebrated as a national holiday here in Myanmar during the full moon in November.
It marks the end of the rainy season and is also the time when monks are offered new robes and alms.
I visited the Shwezigon Pagoda here in NyaungU on Monday morning at 6.00am to see what was happening…
There were lots of local people and the atmosphere was vibrant. All over the pagoda grounds I found families and individuals either praying, eating breakfast together or making donations that will be distributed equally amongst the surrounding monasteries.
The donations often included practical items like new slippers (thongs) umbrellas, bath soaps, buckets or food to eat. Some people give the monks money, and the cash donated is put on display on wood-framed “trees” for all to see.